Pellicano Trial: Garry Shandling’s Not-So-Funny Story

John J. Nazarian
March 14, 2008

Mr. ShandlingJust a little note from me to all my readers: I am still a Private Investigator and always will be…I hope! This “Pellicano project” is just that, a project, my covering this is a learning experience for future encounters! As it has been said in the past Mr. Pellicano and I have a history, again I will say for the record that I feel terrible to see him in these circumstances. Yes, you heard me right, I feel bad for the guy, I did from the beginning. It is too bad someone did not get in his face and tell him to “get a grip.” You can only F*%& the system for so long before it too takes back with interest what you thought you had pulled. On one hand I do wish all of these guys the best, and on the other hand it is too bad for all of the victims of this bullshit and in the end believe me it is all just that, bull! It didn’t accomplish anything for anyone except create extra misery for all involved.

The government had put our little friend Tarita Virtue on hold this morning so that Mr. Garry Shandling could stroll in and tell his sad story and it was just that, sad. As I was arriving this morning, I noticed a nice black BMW 700 series in the back where the Feds can get people in while avoiding the cameras and reporters, then a little after 8 am Mr. Shandling made his appearance. Mr. Shandling started the proceedings with a little humor, when asked what he did for a living, he said “that’s a bad sign, I’m a comedian,” the room laughed and Judge Dale Fischer also has good timing and said, “not today sir! ” This judge is a class act and a true credit to her profession.

Mr. Shandling told the court and the jury that he had been friends with Brad Grey for more than 25 years and had met when he was 31 and Brad was just 21. Brad had acted as his manager for more than 18 years — acted badly I might say after what we all heard today! It was brought to Garry’s attention by his accountant that he was paying a fishy commission to his manager/friend and and when he confronted Brad Grey, Grey told him that it was on a “need to know basis.” In essence, it appeared Grey was stealing from his longtime pal. Garry had to hire a lawyer and that made things worse and of course Brad Grey hired Bertram Fields and it was stated that when you hired Bertram Fields you got Anthony Pellicano!

Mr. Shandling goes on to say that his reputation was being attacked and it was “creepy.” Brad Grey did in fact warn the poor guy that “he would make my life miserable…he was my manager!” It took him three months to get his money returned and he still had not seen any of his contracts. He did not have his copies, as he so sadly stated that he trusted Brad and you could tell this was still emotional for him. Shandling told the court that Brad Grey had made “side deals” for himself and that “he was looking out for his (Brad’s) best interest.” Mr. Shandling hired Gavin DePecker to come and “SWEEP” his phones for any “TAPS.” It would be fair to say that Mr. DePecker had gone to the same school of counter-espionage as the representive of Pacific Bell/SBC! He told Mr. Shandling that “THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE PHONE LINES”…I was wondering if a refund is in order! Or will the whiz kid, DePecker, do the old “well it was not on when we checked!” Hey how about this, if you put a gun to my head and I had to choose between joining Pellicano or DePecker, I would pick Pellicano! Yes I would…why you ask? He was a real Private Investigator…DePecker claims to be a security expert…hmm, has anyone ever checked his credentials? This too was sad as Mr. Shandling needed help and looked in the wrong place. Not a question in my mind it would have all stopped had my team and myself been involved…as I have said, “sweeps” are just Hollywood hocus-pocus against a good wiretap, but there are effective counter-measures (like disposable cellphones) that should have been implemented. But, they were not, and the taps kept coming and all of Mr. Shandling’s calls were up for grabs.

When shown the documents of unauthorized L.A.P.D. computer runs showing his phone calls and the names of his close associates that were on Exhibit 300, Mr. Shandling said, “This bothers me as much as the first time I saw this. ” He saw the Sarge’s name on the document, Mark Arneson, and he was asked by the defense if he was involved in any L.A.P.D. investigation, and he said no…But Anthony and Mark had one going on! And again upon looking at the document he stated, “It is a creepy feeling seeing this again. ” Another one of the trademarks of the Pellicano was those dam late night phone calls and hang-ups that he said that he had received, that is a Bingo!

At some point Mr. Shandling tells the court that he did get some of his contracts back and he found forgeries, some signed by other people, and by misrepresentation. He told us that he had sold his series to Mr. Fuchs, the head of HBO at the time, himself over the phone and got a 13 show commitment. And when he told Brad Grey about it, Brad said “let’s be partners” and took half! This guy is a very trusting individual…or at least was! And by the way, Brad Grey is now the head of Paramount Studios…what a town!

The bottom line was that the lawsuit was settled 1 week before going to trial, and all of this misery was for what? Friendships and careers were lost or at risk and in the end, DePecker gave an all clear sign for a phone tap that was alive and well and Anthony is chilling in his Federal Green outfit, fighting for his life!

One difficult part was Pellicano had to cross examine him — yes, his former target of his phone taps, and now he is speaking in 3rd person and Shandling is not pleased, you can hear the tone of his voice. When Pellicano asked if he knew “Mr. Pellicano” was involved, Shandling stated, “To my knowledge Anthony Pellicano did that press campaign because a few reporters mentioned it to me.” Pellicano asked if he would name the reporters? Shandling, not missing a beat, said, “Anita Busch” — Ouch! (Anita was the LA Times reporter, against whom Anthony’s intimidation campaign would prove to be his downfall). Il Pellicano had to have a shooting pain and at his age it had to hurt even more, right in the old coglioni.

FUNNY FOOT NOTE: While I was talking to some people at the break, I was saying as I have always said that “when a tap is done right or by the Feds you will never find it.” Mr. Abner Nicherie, one of Pellicano’s associates and a co-defendant, walked by and said, “You are right”…hell, he should know!

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