Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Anthony Pellicano: Wiretapper to the Stars

Star Power

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson

In Los Angeles, Pellicano earned a reputation as Hollywood's pit bull. In the early 1990s, whenever a tough guy was needed to make a problem go away, Pellicano was ready, willing, and able. According to Vanity Fair, he managed to squelch a story that had run in a British tabloid accusing actor Kevin Costner of having had an improper relationship with a young fan. When an ex-boyfriend started harassing actress Farrah Fawcett, Pellicano was called in to set the man straight. When singer Stevie Wonder suspected his girlfriend of disloyalty, Pellicano spied on her. O.J. Simpson hired him to deal with a pesky secretary. Rosanne asked him to find her long-lost daughter. When actor James Woods complained that actress Sean Young just wouldn't leave him alone, Pellicano intervened. When a 13-year-old boy accused the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, of sexual abuse, Pellicano uncovered damaging information about the boy's family that compromised his credibility as a witness against Jackson. Pellicano's work on the Michael Jackson case put the P.I. into the limelight. It became common knowledge in Hollywood circles that if a sin had to be eaten, Pellicano was the man for the job.

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez

Pellicano's style often mimicked the noir crime films of the 1940s. Jude Green told a federal grand jury of her encounters with Pellicano while she was in the midst of a contentious divorce from her wealthy financier husband, the late Leonard I. Green, in 2001. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, on one occasion, Pellicano followed her to a dog-grooming parlor in Santa Monica and blocked her car with his. When she tried to leave, he got out of his car and stood in her way with arms folded, sunglasses covering his eyes, not saying a word. Later that same day, he followed her to a coffee shop and blocked her car again, silently menacing her in the same way. According to Pellicano's indictment, he illegally accessed a police database in 2001, searching for damaging information about her. She claimed that in 1997, when she refused to sign a pre-nuptial agreement, her husband threatened to "sic" Pellicano on her. Leonard Green's attorney in the divorce was Dennis Wasser, who, according to Vanity Fair, had used Pellicano's services regularly. In the past, Wasser has represented Jennifer Lopez, Steven Spielberg, and Rod Stewart in divorce proceedings.

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