Larry Mendte, the first male host of Access Hollywood, is under investigation by the FBI for reading someone else's emails. If he did it, at least he probably saw some thrilling stuff: his alleged victim is Alycia Lane, his cop-slugging, bikini-posing former colleague at Philly's CBS TV station. You can see why he'd be tempted! Early indications are that Mendte's snooping could rank right up there with Insider host Pat O'Brien's sexy drunken voicemails in the annals of gossip show host scandals.
Mendte is accused of opening Lane's email "hundreds" of times, and possibly of leaking some of the information he found to the media. Investigators are currently trying to match up the timing of leaks with the emails that they know Mendte opened—including a bunch from her lawyer, which may be related to a lawsuit Lane filed against CBS3 after her police-smacking incident. Bad! This is considered the same as opening someone's mail at home, legally speaking. So why did he do it, allegedly? Even gossiping colleagues aren't sure:
Several current and former CBS3 newsroom staffers, who agreed to speak yesterday on condition of anonymity, said they were shocked at the suggestion of animosity between Mendte and Lane, who became an anchor team on Sept. 15, 2003. The combination quickly boosted the station's appeal: Mendte, the hometown guy, raised in Lansdowne, hired away from NBC10 after six years; and Lane, the rising star from Long Island, hired from Miami.
But two sources said their off-air relationship had its highs and lows; they seemed to be barely speaking by the end of last year, they said.
It's also unclear why the feds would get involved in a case like this, except to make an example out of a high-profile TV star. The curse of tabloid television hosts in action! Ironic, too, that Mendte's best YouTube clip involves him falling down on the job: