LOS ANGELES – A prominent attorney who represented billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian pleaded not guilty Tuesday in connection with a Hollywood wiretapping scandal.
Terry Christensen, 65, of Beverly Hills is among 13 people facing federal charges in an alleged wiretapping scheme involving Hollywood celebrities and executives.
Christensen appeared in court with his wife. He has been free after posting a $100,000 bond. His trial was set for April 18.
Prosecutors claim Christensen paid private investigator and alleged ringleader Anthony Pellicano at least $100,000 to illegally wiretap the phones of Kerkorian's former wife, Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, as part of a child support battle.
Christensen, who helped build the Los Angeles law firm Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, faces one count of conspiracy and one count of intercepting wire communications. If convicted of both charges, he could face up to 10 years in federal prison.
Joann Wiggan, 52, a former SBC employee, also pleaded not guilty to five counts of perjury in the wiretapping case. She was ordered to appear at an afternoon hearing for the setting of a trial date.
Prosecutors contend that Pellicano illegally wiretapped the phones of Hollywood stars such as Sylvester Stallone and bribed police officers to run the names of more than 60 people, including comedians Garry Shandling and Kevin Nealon, through government databases.
The recent indictment of Christensen has sent tremors through the entertainment industry, leading to further speculation about who might be indicted next.