Hollywood private eye hits out at 'amateur hackers'

 

Los Angeles

Anthony Pellicano, the Hollywood private eye imprisoned for illegally digging up dirt on behalf of A-list clients, has described the News of the World’s phone-hackers as rank amateurs compared to some of the grizzled veterans working in Hollywood.

In his first interview since 2008, when he was convicted of 75 separate crimes, the notoriously bombastic “problem solver” has provided a timely reminder that the rich and famous can be perpetrators as well as victims of illegal data-gathering.

“I was ahead of my time,” Pellicano said, with regard to his work for clients such as Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Costner, Arnold Schwarzenegger and (or so he claims) Bill Clinton.

“I was the top of the ladder," he said. “Just to talk to me it cost $25,000. These guys [at News International] were stringers who worked with reporters to try to get information on a celebrity. If the News of the World had called, I would ask the editor, ‘Why would you want me to do that? Are you stupid?!”

Pellicano’s comments came in a prison interview with Newsweek that was long on titillation but short on genuine revelation regarding his 15-year career working for Hollywood’s stars, lawyers, and studio executives.

Famous for carrying a Louisville Slugger baseball bat in the boot of his car, using computers to hack public databases, and bribing telephone company employees to help him tap private phone lines, Pellicano’s allegations provide a fascinating insight into the seamier side of Hollywood.

“If you saw the stuff I found in celebrity homes: cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy, vials of narcotics...” he says at one point. “There was a doctor shooting up celebrities with morphine for $350.”

Although he largely refused to name names, citing the Mafia code of “Omerta,” Pellicano did reveal that in the early 1990s, he helped discredit an erotic wrestler who wrongly claimed to have had a gay affair with Tom Cruise.

The wrestler, Kyle Bradford, “wanted to extort money,” Pellicano recalled. Cruise later sued the man for slander, and succeeded in getting him to drop the allegation.

In another fascinating anecdote, Pellicano said that if the FBI had properly searched his home and office when they raided it in 2002, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s political career might never have got off the ground. “I have personal stuff on Arnold," he said. "If they found that stuff, he never would have been governor.”

Now intermittently working on an autobiography, while serving a 15 year sentence, Pellicano added that he also worked for Michael Jackson during his 1993 child-molestation case, but, “I quit because I found out some truths…He did something far worse to young boys than molest them.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

(Junior) IT Systems Administrator / Infrastructure Analyst

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...

Sales Engineer - Cowes - £30K-£40K

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Sales Engineer - Cow...

Web / Digital Analyst - Google Analytics, Omniture

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Sales Perfomance Manager. Marylebone, London

£45-£57k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor