Brad Grey's Pellicano Testimony: “Boring”

So the Paramount chief just finished testifying at the Pellicano trial. And the verdict is boring. Seriously, boring. “It was as boring as boring could be,” a spectator told me. Hollywood P.I. Anthony Pellicano didn’t even bother to cross-examine him. But another co-defendant’s lawyer did ask Grey some questions that let the former manager respond to a few of Garry Shandling’s charges. For instance, Grey denied Shandling’s accusation that the comedian was prevented from seeing his contracts. The Paramount boss also denied any knowledge of any wiretapping, background checks using law enforcement databases, or other illegalities in connection with his defense of two lawsuits. Interestingly, no one asked Grey if he had any kind of personal relationship with Pellicano — so the fact that the manager’s offices were on the same floor as Pellicano’s for years, or that Brad tried to sell a TV show about Pellicano, never came out at trial. (Brad Grey leaving Roybal federal building today after testifying, photo exclusive to DHD courtesy of Jim Stevenson)

Grey arrived in a tailored blue suit with lawyers and a publicist trailing after him. In all, he was on the witness stand for at most an hour. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Lally’s direct examination of Grey was matter of fact and devoid of color. (Except for this: the prosecutor asked Grey if he saw Pellicano in the courtroom and the P.I., wearing his now signature green winbreaker, began waving to Brad.) Lally started off with basic questions — Who are you? What do you do? What was your job before this? — before zeroing in on Brad’s business relationship with Garry Shandling. Grey explained that Pellicano was hired because his attorney in the Shandling lawsuit Bert Grey “had used him in the past and highly recommended him and held him in high regard”. Grey said he learned from Fields that hiring a private eye was “the normal course of action in litigation” and Pellicano was also helping them on the cross-complaint they were filing against Shandling. Lally produced a series of checks showing that Grey had used a Brillstein-Grey holding company to pay Greenberg Glusker’s charges, which included fees for Pellicano. Lally specifically asked Grey whether he’d been involved in any discussions with Pellicano about his investigation. And Brad replied, “No, I left that to the law firm.”

Lally next turned to the Bo Zenga lawsuit filed against Grey in 2000 and spent a while trying to establish exactly when Pellicano was retained by Fields on behalf of Grey. Brad’s recollection was that it took place a few months into the lawsuit around the time of a February 2001 status meeting about the case. Grey spoke that Pellicano was brought on about the time that possible extortion was suspected as well as possible fraud surrounding a screenwriting competition that Zenga had been involved with years earlier. Grey testified that the directions to Pellicano and the hiring of Pellicano “all came through Bert Fields” and that “in every instance” Grey had never been given updates on the investigations by Pellicano.

Pellicano, who is conducting his own defense, declined to cross-examine the Paramount boss. But the attorney for a co-defendant, LAPD Sgt. Mark Arneson, did ask Grey whether he’d ever seen any wiretapping reports or law enforcement background checks or any other illegal activities by his legal team. Brad said no.

One mildly interesting factlet that came out was how Garry Shandling had hired a publicist in conjunction with his lawsuit. Grey said he was aware of it. After Brad’s personal notes ended up in a “periodical” [The New Yorker] article about the case, he said Bert Fields felt strongly that they should investigate how that happened. Arneson’s attorney also asked about concerns about the rising costs on The Larry Sanders Show and whether that relevant to the hiring of Pellicano. Brad said it was. And the lawyer asked whether Grey denied Shandling access to contracts. Brad said that was “completely false”. The attorney showed that Grey pretty much already knew everything about Shandling that was contained in the background check. And in response to a question, Grey said he had “absolutely no” awareness of any cash payments to Pellicano. Then, on the subject of Bo Zenga, the attorney asked if Grey had ever seen any reports from Pellicano about wiretapping. Brad said he hadn’t.

Finally, on re-direct, Lally tried to pin down to a tighter time frame the hiring of Pellicano in the Zenga case, causing Brad to say it may have been the first week in February. And Lally asked the Paramount mogul about any wiretapping or illegal background checks, “You were neither aware that they were happening or not happening?” Brad claimed he wasn’t aware.

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