LOS ANGELES – Prosecutors in the trial of a Hollywood private eye on Wednesday played what they said was a wiretapped conversation in which the wife of a billionaire businessman reassured her brother-in-law that their affair wouldn't be discovered.
Prosecutors said it was the only recording of a call wiretapped by defendant Anthony Pellicano that will be presented to jurors during the federal racketeering trial.
On the 25-minute recording, Lisa Gores and her husband's brother Tom Gores were heard talking about their meeting in 2001 at the Beverly Hills Hotel and her fear that they had been followed.
"I'm not going to ever say anything unless I'm confronted," Lisa Gores said. "I'll just deny everything forever."
Later she said, "This is the bottom line, Tommy, no one saw inside the room. End of story."
Asked if he was worried, Tom Gores said he was OK.
"I don't want you to have pressure on you," he said.
Prosecutors believe Pellicano, 64, bribed police officers and telephone company workers to collect information for clients to use against rivals in legal and other disputes.
All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors have said it was difficult to decrypt audio files dubbed by Pellicano and seized by FBI agents during raids on his office several years ago.
They haven't revealed, however, why they intended to play only one wiretapped call at trial or whether they have additional wiretapped calls.
Lisa Gores testified Tuesday that she and Tom Gores, who also was married, had an affair in early 2001 while she was still married to her husband, billionaire Alec Gores. The couple eventually divorced in August 2001.
She testified that she learned her husband had hired Pellicano to investigate her.
Just days before Lisa and Tom Gores met at the hotel, prosecutors said their names were illegally run through criminal databases by former Los Angeles police Sgt. Mark Arneson, a co-defendant in the trial.
Lisa Gores said she and Pellicano had discussed the tape and she pleaded with him to destroy it so it wouldn't be made public, because "I didn't want anything out there."
"I was very nervous and scared of the tape getting out," a tearful Lisa Gores testified. She also acknowledged she lied to FBI agents during a 2003 interview about the affair, but she was never charged.
Also on Tuesday, hedge fund manager Adam Sender testified that Pellicano suggested film producer and one-time Nevada gubernatorial candidate Aaron Russo could be murdered over an investment dispute. Sender said he did not approve of the suggestion.
None of the charges against Pellicano or the four other defendants involve solicitation of murder. Russo died last year.
Acting as his own lawyer, Pellicano asked Sender if the statement could have been a passing suggestion, since Sender was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the lawsuit.
Sender, who was given immunity in exchange for his testimony, said it was possible.
In all, 14 people have been charged in the case, and seven already pleaded guilty to a variety of charges including perjury and conspiracy.