How To Piss Off Steve Martin
In one easy step.
For a long time, Pellicano's tough-guy talk seemed to put him on the verge of self-parody: the hard-boiled gumshoe playing the private-dick role in the manner that people in Hollywood would expect. And in many cases, his alleged victims were hard to pity—like producer Bo Zenga, who had to take the Fifth more than 100 times when he was deposed in a lawsuit that he had initiated. (Zenga has also declared himself an award-winning screenwriter when all he had "won" was a contest that he'd made up himself.)
Then there was Lisa Bonder, who tried to shake down Kirk Kerkorian for $320,000 a month after gaming a DNA test to trick him into supporting a child who wasn't his. It was hard to feel bad when Pellicano exposed that type of behavior.
But even if all of Pellicano's victims had put themselves in harm's way, what he appears to have done goes far beyond their concerns. Every day of testimony sharpens the focus on allegations that should scare everyone—even folks who have never gotten closer to Hollywood than the multiplex. (link)
Correction, March 19, 2008: The item on the Pellicano trial originally included a photo of John Connolly, who's actually a reporter who investigated Pellicano. The image has been removed.
Kim Masters is an NPR correspondent and the author of The Keys to the Kingdom: The Rise of Michael Eisner and the Fall of Everyone Else.
Photograph of Anthony Pellicano by Westley Hargrave/Splash News. Still from Valkyrie © 2007 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Photograph of Steve Martin by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images.