Pellicano Prison Interview: Notorious Fixer on His Victims, Enablers and a Coming Release

With just a year to go in his sentence for wiretapping and other crimes, Pellicano speaks for the first time in detail about star clients like Michael Jackson and the late studio chief Brad Grey, those who turned their backs on him (“Rats are worse than child molesters”) and his showbiz legacy (“People got away with a lot because of me”).

Closer now, we cross San Pedro’s Vincent Thomas Bridge, recognizable for its many appearances in movies and television shows, and move past a graveyard of massive multicolored shipping containers. Just ahead awaits a peculiar Southern California landscape of palm trees and barbed wire, and then a cheerless, pitiless site: Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution.

As one would expect, the building is grim, too, home to about 1,240 inmates. Among them: Anthony Joseph Pellicano, Prisoner No. 21568-112. The former private eye to the rich, famous and distressed resides in a cell less than 40 miles from the Hollywood office he rented at 9200 Sunset Blvd. — but it might as well be 40 light-years. Some may find it difficult to recall just how looming a figure Pellicano, 73, was in Hollywood beginning in the late ’80s, after he had moved to L.A. and helped defend auto executive John DeLorean on cocaine distribution charges and built an all-star client roster that included Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone, Roseanne Barr, Garry Shandling, Courtney Love and many more. Or the spectacle of his 2008 trial on 78 counts of wiretapping, racketeering and other charges that featured testimony by industry figures from Chris Rock to then-Paramount CEO Brad Grey. For his A-list clients, Pellicano was convicted for performing such services as wiretapping, protection, intimidation and identity theft and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.



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