LOS ANGELES – Paramount Pictures chief Brad Grey testified Thursday that he did not know a private eye allegedly used illegal tactics while working on a lawsuit filed against his company by comedian Garry Shandling.
Grey testified briefly in the federal wiretapping trial of Hollywood sleuth Anthony Pellicano and four other defendants. All have pleaded not guilty.
The studio executive hired lawyer Bert Fields to defend the $100 million lawsuit over proceeds from "The Larry Sanders Show." Grey was then working as Shandling's manager.
Grey testified that Fields regarded Pellicano highly and hired him to work on the case against Grey's company, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment.
"I understand Mr. Fields had used the services of Mr. Pellicano many times before that," Grey testified.
Grey said he wasn't closely involved in the day-to-day proceedings of the case: "Lawsuits were left to our attorneys."
Fields is a partner at the Greenberg Glusker law firm.
Pellicano, who is acting as his own attorney, did not cross-examine Grey.
Grey also denied any knowledge of tactics used by Pellicano in a lawsuit filed against him by aspiring screenwriter Vincent "Bo" Zenga demanding a screenwriting credit for the 2000 film "Scary Movie."
Pellicano is accused of wiretapping Zenga's telephone conversations with his attorneys during the lawsuit.
Shandling testified last week and was shown documents by prosecutors indicating police databases had been searched four times for his personal information in 1999.
Prosecutors said the searches were done by a former Los Angeles police sergeant who worked with Pellicano.
Shandling said he was troubled to find his name on the material.
Prosecutors said Shandling was among the victims of a racketeering scheme headed by Pellicano that dug up dirt on celebrities and other prominent Hollywood clients for use in legal and other disputes.
Prosecutors believe Pellicano bribed police officers, including LAPD Sgt. Mark Arneson, a co-defendant, to run names of his clients' rivals through databases.
During cross-examination by Arneson's attorney, Shandling said he didn't know whether any of the information had been used against him.
The lawsuit against Grey's company was settled in July 1999 for a reported $10 million.
In other testimony Thursday, the ex-wife of prominent real estate developer Robert Maguire said Pellicano intercepted a call between her ex-husband and his psychiatrist in the late 1990s.
"It was awful," testified Susan Redden Maguire, whom prosecutors gave immunity in exchange for her testimony.
She had hired Greenberg Glusker to represent her in real estate, tax and estate matters from her divorce from Robert Maguire. The firm then hired Pellicano, whose job was to locate any hidden assets Robert Maguire might have.
Pellicano also wiretapped calls between Robert Maguire and architect Frank Gehry, Susan Redden Maguire told the court. She testified that she paid Pellicano up to $1 million in cash, checks and jewelry for his work.
The trial is to resume Tuesday.