The Negotiator

John J. Nazarian
May 29, 2008

Pellicano business cardsLots of people have been asking me for more on the Pellicano story. Take a look at these business cards…real collector’s items now! The first one is what you’d expect. The second one is more revealing. Here is an aspect of this tale that hasn’t gotten its due: Anthony as master manipulator, playing both sides against the middle. Anthony prided himself not only on being a top private investigator, he saw himself as a “negotiator.” This being Hollywood, and dealing with the human nature of all that comes with that, no one really wants to play fair. Oh, for sure there are the air kisses and the “darlings” and “loved your show”…Guess what? No one really cares! They are all competing. And many of them will sell their grandmothers for a competitive edge.

Negotiating can be a real art form — bringing opposing parties together in a way that everyone feels they won something. But negotiating is not that tough when you know all the cards everyone is holding. I have learned also that negotiating and extortion are sometimes one and the same. Thanks to his “unorthodox methods,” Anthony Pellicano was very good at knowing what offer to make…and how to approach someone who had just talked dirty to an underage juvenile. Anthony had the ability to work for both sides at the same time and get paid by both sides! Now how cool is that? Morticians figured that out too, years ago. Did you know that often the mortuaries in this country owned the ambulance service as well as the funeral parlours? Hmm…slight conflict of interest?! And then they got even better, they bought the cemeteries too. So along comes the ultimate Goombah, Mr. Omerta, and he too had the market cornered! He could convince one side and the other that they were in trouble, and that he could take care of it. If it did not go as he planned, he would orchestrate some turmoil and rumor. There are tapes out there, and there he is working the tabloids too!

And then this: when Anita Busch was targeted, some big nitwit said, “Get Pellicano!” LMAO! That’s right…bring Pellicano in to investigate himself! Can you imagine those fools looking back at that now? Why not get Nazarian, I was already there! But I was not a “contributor,” you know, how Anthony could drop little gems of insider secrets from his treasure trove to ingratiate himself. “He never left the office” it was mentioned during the trial….why should he, he had the world right at his ear! And with the help of “his” lawyers he worked these rich folks like a bunch of $3 hookers — I am not saying that there is anything wrong with a $3 hooker, as long as you got some good ampicillin or the like! But Anthony took them to the bank and to the cleaners, and in the end some of their secrets were made public. All that money and what did they get? Well, the really rich ones got satisfaction and maybe even a pound of flesh. Yes, the rich and powerful want their flesh, after all they are rich and they like being treated special! And some were even treated special during the government’s investigation.

Many of the people who got worked over by Anthony still don’t realize fully what he did. Hell, I sat in that courtroom for weeks and I know we didn’t hear it all, and we know the government didn’t find out everything. It does make you think twice about what you talk about. I had a meeting just today with someone who asked if anyone could still do the “phone olympics,” I told him that the only guy that I knew was the Pelican and he is “booked” for the next 10 plus years! Can you imagine someone asking a question like that….not tough for me, I just went into my old fashion gumshoe routine. That is how I do it and maybe when I am going real nuts I will grab the garbage! That other stuff? Hmmm, who will be the next one and who will buy?

Who will be the next “Negotiator”? No one around at this time! Why you ask? It will be a little tougher to work it as when someone tells the feds, “I think I am being wiretapped!, I think that they may take it a little more seriously. The technology is also changing rapidly…less home phones (hard lines), more cellular and along with that will come new technology and who knows what will happen.

I do have to give Pellicano a nod, he was the best there was for what will seem like a short time as he sits and waits, and waits. All during the trial, Anthony had the calm look of someone who knew something the rest of us didn’t. Maybe he still does! But for the Negotiator who’s used to knowing all the cards and beating the house, it looks like he’s finally holding a losing hand.

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