EXCLUSIVE: When Anthony Pellicano walks out of a California prison tomorrow, the once notorious Hollywood P.I. will be welcomed by some of the biggest names in Hollywood with dual gifts of deep appreciation and cold hard cash.
Ending a 15-year sentence behind bars on his 75th birthday, the soon-to-be former inmate of Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution is the recipient of a flush fund set up by Tinseltown power players, I’ve learned.
Intended to help Pellicano get solidly back on his feet as he steps back into freedom, the fund is in the six-figure category, one insider confirmed. The fund has seen donations from top executives and former clients of the fixer.
While more than some would think appropriate and less than others feel Pellicano deserves, the rich and famous are writing fat checks in no small part because the former sleuth kept his mouth shut to the feds and other law enforcement officials while doing his time.
“There are a lot of people who were very lucky that Anthony stayed silent about what he knew and what he did,” a knowledgeable source told Deadline of Pellicano’s leverage in and out of prison. “He could have made a deal, a lot of deals, and he didn’t and that matters to this crowd.”
“A lot of people are quaking that I’m going to disclose a lot of things when I get out,” the eminently quotable Pellicano told Newsweek back in 2008 in anticipation of a day like tomorrow. “They’ll just have to keep quaking won’t they?”
Well, not necessarily now, clearly.
A number of those same people also assisted Pellicano financially over the years he was incarcerated, with one or two even visiting him in the various institutions he’s been housed in the past decade. Some of those same Tinseltown power players also feel that Pellicano was unfairly harshly thrown in the slammer because of his high profile connections, going down for much longer than those who committed much more heinous acts.
First snared in a 2002 FBI raid, the man whose rolodex ranged from the late Brad Grey to heavyweight lawyer Bert Fields, Michael Ovitz, Tom Cruise and Michael Jackson — whom Pellicano fired as a client based on his own inquiries about the much accused Thriller singer — was sentenced after a much delayed 2008 jury trial where he faced allegations of computer hacking, illegal wiretapping, threats and harassment on behalf of former CAA boss Ovitz.
“I did employ Anthony Pellicano as a detective over a number of years on a number of cases, which did not involved wire tapping as far as I knew,” legal eminence Fields told Deadline today when contacted about the ex-P.I.’s looming release. “He always performed excellent work for me.
Due to improper jury instructions in that 2008 trial, Pellicano was re-sentenced in 2017 to 180 months for violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. That followed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the summer of 201 rejecting most his appeal, but vacating portions of his initial sentence after his convictions on computer fraud and hacking were tossed out.
In the 2017 re-sentencing, in addition some hefty fines which this deep pocketed fund from his well heeled friends may assist with, the private investigator was given with three years supervised release, which kicks in tomorrow when he ambles out the door the SoCal facility less than an hour’s drive from the heart of Hollywood.
Anthony Pellicano is anticipated to be exiting Terminal Island early tomorrow morning. I hear he will not be met by any of his powerful pals to bring him home to L.A.