Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano said Tuesday he won't apologize to the people he snooped on for his rich and famous clients but does takes responsibility for the investigative tactics that brought him a 15-year prison sentence.
In a phone interview from federal prison with The Associated Press, a cordial and relaxed Pellicano said he wasn't surprised by the sentence he received Monday from U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer.
The 64-year-old said he got careless while spying on the rivals of his clients.
"I got a little careless, I regret that strongly," Pellicano said. "Do I make apologies? No. I'm responsible for everything I've done."
Prosecutors said the private eye ran a criminal enterprise that wiretapped stars such as Sylvester Stallone and bribed police officers to run names of people, including comedian Garry Shandling, through law enforcement databases.
Pellicano was convicted of a combined 78 counts, including wiretapping, racketeering and wire fraud, in two separate trials earlier this year.
Pellicano built a reputation as an investigator who could find information that others couldn't. His clients included comedian Chris Rock, high-powered entertainment attorney Bertram Fields, superagent Michael Ovitz and one-time talent manager and now Paramount studio head Brad Grey.
None of the four were charged in the case. Each said he didn't know about Pellicano's tactics.
While acknowledging he was known to "bend the law," Pellicano asserted he was like any other private investigator when it came to poking into people's lives.
"When you investigate someone, you intrude into their lives," said Pellicano, noting that he was a licensed private detective. "My practices are no different than others'. I was just better at it."
Pellicano denied he was behind the harassment of former Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch, who described at his sentencing being harassed by Pellicano and his cohorts after she co-wrote articles about Ovitz's alleged financial troubles while his talent agency was in talks to be acquired.
Busch found a dead fish with a rose in its mouth and a sign reading "stop" on her car in June 2002, and the incident led authorities to investigate Pellicano. He still faces charges in connection with the incident.
Asked about others who claimed they were terrorized, Pellicano said they lied when they testified. He said he called just one witness during his paltry defense because it was difficult to challenge events that never occurred.
Prosecutors "got a lot of people on the stand to lie," he said.
Pellicano, who plans to appeal, said he has taped conversations that provide different accounts of events than those detailed during the trial.
"Some day these tape recordings may be available for people to listen to," he said. "There are pieces of information that I have gathered out there, yes."
However, as he has done throughout the case, he insisted that he will not betray his clients, and their secrets will stay with him — even though he has received numerous offers to tell his story.
"If there were a way to help my family without breaking my own laws so to speak, I would consider it," Pellicano said. "There would be a mass sale of books, there would be eyebrows raised and some heads would roll, including some in government."
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