Pellicano Trial: CAA Partners Say Nothing

Poor Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane had to cool their heels all morning inside the Roybal federal building. A place near the coffee shop substituted as a Green Room for the Pellicano Trial. Even the government realized this was costing CAA a fortune. Around 12:30 PM, the feds told U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer that the two agency partners needed to go back to work. So an ex-FBI guy already on the witness stand was bumped for them. (How nice to know that federal trials are run like Craft.)

At 12:35 PM, Huvane appeared on the stand first. Asked about the events surrounding August 10th, 2001, since that’s when he was investigated in law enforcement databases, the CAA managing director pointed the finger at Michael Ovitz. “He founded a rival company. We had a dispute with him and decided not to do business with him.” Actually, Lourd and Huvane were mentioned in Footnote #11 of the government’s trial memo on the Pellicano case because “recovered from Pellicano’s computers were scanned computer printouts of DMV and criminal history information for Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane bearing [LAPD Sgt Mark Arneson’s name and a date of August 10th, 2001, which comports with the date when Arneson conducted database inquiries on these individuals”. No context was provided. But CAA had issued an “it’s Ovitz or us” ultimatum to Hollywood in 1999 after Michael Ovitz broke his promise not to raid the talent agency after he founded his own management company AMG — then signed away Robin Williams and seven other actors and directors. Ovitz is mentioned in the feds’ trial memo as having hired Pellicano to investigate frenemies.

Huvane put on his glasses to read Exhibit 161 which consisted of a printout of the database probe and asked to verify facts like his date of birth, drivers license number and middle name. Huvane admitted that the address listed on his drivers license was not his actual residence but the address of the old CAA building in Beverly Hills. [CAA has since moved to new digs in Century City]. Asked why this was done, Kevin replied, “We have security problems with clients looking up where their agents live.” [CAA is now saying that Huvane misspoke in court. What he intended to convey was that clients’ fans sometimes look up where the stars’ agents live.] UPDATE: CAA Clarifies What Kevin Huvane Said…

During cross-examination, defendant Anthony Pellicano, the imprisoned Hollywood P.I., asked Huvane who founded CAA. So Kevin listed all the original partners. “Did you ever work for Ovitz?” Pellicano asked.

“Yes, Huvane answered.

“Did you ever hire a private investigator when you worked at CAA?” Pellicano pressed. But the prosecution objected and the judge sustained the objection, so Huvane didn’t have to answer.

“Did you know an individual named Richard Di Sabatino?” Again, the prosecution objected, and the judge sustained the objection, so Huvane didn’t have to answer.

[Richard Di Sabatino founded International Security Group, Ltd. a consulting firm for select high profile clients that was a rival to Pellicano’s private eye firm. He has been linked to such celebrities as Robert DeNiro and Nicole Kidman, whose divorce lawyer reportedly consulted Di Sabatino during her split from Tom Cruise. Di Sabatino supposedly supplied Kidman with encrypted phones, so she couldn’t be wiretapped. Cruise’s divorce lawyer Dennis Wasser was known to hire Pellicano on cases. Di Sabatino also has been a technical consultant on several Hollywood films.]

Huvane then was cross-examined by LAPD Sgt Mark Arneson’s counsel, who dwelled on the fact that Kevin’s drivers license didn’t state his real residential address.

By 12:50 PM, the CAA partner came off the witness stand and his pal Bryan Lourd came on. Federal prosecutor Daniel Saunders went through the same drill with Bryan about the database printout. But when it came to his date of birth, Lourd said the DMV got it wrong; he wasn’t born in 1950 but in 1960.

During cross-examination, Arneson’s lawyer again focused on Lourd’s drivers license, which also didn’t bear his residential address. During re-direct, Saunders asked Lourd to explain why. “For security,” Bryan answered. To which Saunders replied, “In case someone gets unauthorized access to DMV records. No further questions.”

One interesting monment took place when Arneson’s lawyer asked Lourd to explain if by referring to “the old CAA building” he was talking about “a famous building designed by I.M. Pei.” To which Lourd replied, “I guess ‘famous’ is a word you’d have to define…”

With that, Lourd got off the witness stand at 12:59 PM.

(My thanks to LA Weekly‘s Steven Mikulan who’s covering the trial for DHD.)

UPDATE: Meanwhile, freelance writer Alison Hope Weiner has posted audio of director John McTiernan (Die Hard, Rollerball) talking to Anthony Pellicano about Hollywood. It was played for jurors this week. It’s gossipy and useless and hurts Chuck Roven who’s an innocent victim. Listen if you must on The Huffington Post here.

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