The Anthony Pellicano saga accidentally became interesting again when a disgruntled hedge-funder testifying Tuesday in the private investigator's wiretapping trial recounted that one time Pellicano offered to whack a producer who ran off with his money. After a $1.1 million investment with talent agent-turned-producer Aaron Russo resulted in exactly no movies and a full year of Russo's evasions, Exis Capital owner Adam Sender turned to Pellicano upon lawyer Bert Fields' recommendations. After the jump, a courtroom report in The NY Times and phone recordings at The Huffingon Post reveal how that could have gone better.
As Timesman David Halbfinger noted from court:
Mr. Pellicano said that "if I wanted to, I could basically authorize him" to have Mr. Russo "murdered on the way back from Las Vegas," Mr. Sender testified. "He would have someone follow him back, drive him off the road and bury his body somewhere in the desert." Mr. Sender said he had declined.
On cross-examination, Mr. Pellicano, acting as his own lawyer and speaking of himself in the third person, seemed more concerned with getting his own words right than with disputing Mr. Sender's account. He does not face any charges related to Mr. Sender's statements.
"Didn't Mr. Pellicano say, 'You've spent all this money, why don't you just whack him?' " Mr. Pellicano asked. "Didn't Mr. Pellicano say, 'If you feel so badly about it, why don't you just have him killed?' "
There were no misquotes or decontextualizations on the recordings of Sender and Pellicano's phone chats obtained by The Huffington Post, which feature Sender giving the PI a budget of $200,000 to "do whatever you feel will make this cocksucker as unhappy as possible. ... I'd like to make the fucking asshole as uncomfortable as possible." Sender ultimately recouped $25,000 after forking more than 10 times that much Fields's way. Russo, meanwhile, died last year after a protracted battle with cancer. So heavy! We never thought we'd say this, but wake us when Garry Shandling comes back.