Notorious Hollywood fixer and private investigator Anthony Pellicano was released from prison on Friday — his 75th birthday — after serving 15 years at Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution in San Pedro, California.
Pellicano had an A-list clientele of Hollywood stars and executives that included Michael Jackson, CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz and Tom Cruise. Pellicano spent more than a decade in prison after being convicted of 78 crimes, including wiretapping, racketeering and wire fraud.
In 2017, a judge upheld Pellicano’s 15-year prison sentence, calling it “reasonable and sufficient” despite a technical error in the 2008 trial which resulted in two of Pellicano’s charges being vacated by an appeals court in 2015.
Pellicano faces three years of supervision.
In December 2008, a federal judge sentenced Pellicano to 15 years in prison and ordered him and two other defendants to forfeit a total of $2 million.
Pellicano was accused of bribing police to run the names of celebrities including Garry Shandling and Kevin Nealon through law enforcement databases, and of tapping others’ telephones and recording the conversations of his clients’ business and litigation opponents.
The FBI investigation into Pellicano’s activities began in 2002 when then-L.A. Times journalist Anita Busch reported finding a dead fish with a rose in its mouth and a note reading, “Stop” on her car’s windshield after she wrote articles about Ovitz, who was one of Pellicano’s most powerful clients at the time.
Busch settled her longstanding legal dispute with Ovitz in January 2018.