LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) Anthony Pellicano, 75, the one-time private eye to the stars, was released today from Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution in San Pedro, Calif., after 15 years behind bars.
Pellicano had a client base that included Tom Cruise, Courtney Love, Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone and CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz. He also defended the late automaker John DeLorean who was caught in a cocaine deal in 1982.
Pellicano was hired by Jackson in 1993 when the pop star was accused of child molestation. He “fired” Jackson and explained, vaguely, the situation to the Hollywood Reporter in a jailhouse interview last year.
“I was offered $500,000 to tell the whole story by a tabloid, and I declined, even though, while incarcerated, I needed the money,” he told THR. He declined to answer any other questions regarding the Jackson saga. “All of that would get too close to the truth, so, regretfully, I have to decline.”
The private eye was known for charging $25,000 for a retainer plus fees that go up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. He refused last year to say who was the owner of a C-4 and two grenades found in his office by the FBI in 2002.
“I got convicted of committing crimes I did not commit,” he told THR then. “I had to listen to testimony of those who got up on the stand and lied. I changed a lot of lives for the better, helped a whole lot of people who were all grateful at the time. That’s what I kept in mind as I took all the heat — alone. As things got troublesome for me, they all took off for the hills.”
Pellicano was accused of bribing police to run the names of celebrities like Garry Shandling and Kevin Nealon through law enforcement databases. He was also known for, in 2002, allegedly putting a dead fish and a note saying “Stop” on the car of Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch, who was writing articles about Ovitz at the time.