Bert Fields, Hollywood lawyer who bulldozed journalists, allowed Pellicano, dies at 93

House Celebrity Bert Fields, Hollywood lawyer who bulldozed journalists, allowed Pellicano, dies at 93

I know it’s frowned upon to speak ill of the dead. But Bert Fields hated journalists and bulldozed us if we had anything negative to write about his clients. He also allowed private detective Anthony Pellicano, who went to jail for spying on Fields’ enemies (although Fields himself was not officially charged with anything). So forgive me if I’m not sobbing over Fields’ death at 93.

I’m sure Bert Field’s famous clients will miss him and leave tributes. Tom Cruise, in particular, thrived for decades with Fields by his side. You can read part of it here.

As for Pellicano, my late friend, journalist John Connolly, bid farewell to Pellicano and Fields. I was in court for many of Pellicano’s machinations. There are endless stories of Fields manipulating and terrorizing just about everyone in Hollywood. He worked for everyone and no one was safe from him.

So RIP, I guess. He goes to his grave with many secrets. But many people still know some of them too. Anyone with a good Fields story, message me at [email protected]

Here is a column I wrote in 2008:

Hollywood heavyweights walk on Pellicano?

Late Friday, the government released its trial note in Hollywood Antoine Pellicano case, and it was quite interesting.

Missing almost entirely from the government’s planned attack on Pellicano is the sexy stuff we’ve been tempted with, apparently, for years.

Hollywood heavyweights can walk on Pellicano, eventually, at least for now.

Instead, the American attorney, perhaps aware of the negative effect the circus that celebrities have on Californian business (OJ, jacko, Robert Blakeetc.), focuses on four non-stars to support their claim of Pellicano’s wrongdoings in the United States against Anthony Pellicano and four other defendants.

The four key witnesses in this case (there will be a separate trial after this one, with the accused Terry Christensenadded a famous Hollywood lawyer) will be: adam sender, Sandra Will Carradine, Alec Gores and Susan Reddan Maguire. Their cases, the government says, boil down the case to its essence without distracting a jury by bringing in celebrities who would merely entertain, not enlighten.

So even though I shared with you an initial list of potential witnesses last week, it’s not clear if 75% of them will be taken to the stand.

Barely mentioned in the memo are the large Pellicano fish: avocado Fields Bertstudio director brad gray or one of the stars whose paths crossed Pellicano and Fields as Sylvester Stallone Where Chris Rock.

Ricardo Cesterothe former Pellicano employee who went to law school so he could join Fields and just work on cases for Tom Cruiseis also not mentioned once.

The only really juicy section of the 129-page memo is on page 96, where the former super agent Michael Ovitz makes an appearance. Here the details get interesting. In 2002, according to the memo, Ovitz paid Pellicano $25,000 to investigate the sports promoter Arthur Bernier and sports agent James Casey. Ovitz was chasing each of them.

The memo states:

“In addition to the specific issues for which PIA was retained, Pellicano and Ovitz discussed individuals within the entertainment community who were causing bad press against Ovitz. During these conversations, Ovitz and Pellicano discussed Ovitz’s belief that the New York Times writer Bernard Weinraub had recycled negative stories about him and that on occasion he was aided by the Los Angeles Times writer Anita Busch.”

What followed, according to government charges, was the illegal wiretapping of Busch’s phones and illegal investigations into his life. Pellicano’s interest in Busch is what ultimately landed him in jail for possession of illegal firearms.

Another name that comes back less than expected is that of Brad Grey, now at the head of Paramount Pictures. His name only appears five times, all on page 88, and all in relation to a long-running lawsuit we explored in this column between him and the movie producer Bo Zenga on the 2000 film “Scary Movie”. Gray hired attorney Bert Fields to represent him, and Fields hired Pellicano.

of the note“During the ensuing investigation, confidential information regarding several investigation targets was acquired through, among other things, investigations into protected law enforcement databases and illegal wiretapping. For For these services, Gray’s attorneys paid Pellicano $25,000, the cost of which was then passed on to Gray as part of the firm’s monthly bill for litigation costs. investigation, instructed Arneson to obtain information on the criminal backgrounds of the targets of the investigation.

Return to the middle of this paragraph. The government does not carefully identify “Grey’s lawyers”. But these are lawyers who work for – if not the man himself – Bert Fields. The omission is intentional.

And what about Bert Fields? His mentions in the trial note are limited to two, both on page 91, as Adam Sender’s attorney. Sender, a hedge fund manager, was suing Aaron Russo (now deceased, Bette Midler) about a deal with a movie company that didn’t go through.

The memo states, “On the recommendation of Fields, Sender retained PIA in March 2001. During the ensuing investigation, confidential information regarding several investigative targets was acquired, among other means, through investigations of protected law enforcement databases and illegal wiretapping. For these services, Sender paid PIA $500,000. »

Pellicano reportedly began the extensive illegal wiretapping of Russo and his family. The memo states, “…two PIA employees will testify about how this wiretap was used to serve legal proceedings on Russo outside of the Giuseppe Franco Salon in Beverly Hills April 21, 2001. After learning that Russo would be at the location through the wiretap, employees proceeded to the salon, where they then chased Russo through several buildings before doing him a favor.

There are two big questions that arise from this: Will the government tie Fields to the Pellicano investigation into the Russos? And will they want it?

More importantly, if the government’s case with only the four witnesses is very tight, will he force Pellicano to turn against his famous friends in exchange for clemency?


Roger Friedman started his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His film reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes and he is a member of the film and television branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years, including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid-90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn’t). not so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. . He is also screenwriter and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive”, a selection from the Cannes, Sundance and Telluride festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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