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Pellicano Trial: Murder Threats, Misery and Inbred Marital Affairs

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Adam Sender, a hedge fund manager who testified for the government
today, was just the latest in a series of extremely wealthy witnesses
who paid Anthony Pellicano to wiretap and harass an adversary. Mr.
Sender's testified that after hiring Bert Fields to represent him in a
lawsuit against Aaron Russo, he then hired Anthony Pellicano to serve
and investigate Mr. Russo. And, as tends to happen after Mr. Pellicano
enters the picture, he began wiretapping Mr. Russo and playing these
wiretapped conversations to Mr. Sender. Mr. Sender testified that Mr.
Pellicano was very effective in his investigation of Mr. Russo, noting
that the detective discovered through wiretapping that Mr. Sender's
then partner was apparently talking to his legal nemesis, Mr. Russo. "I
remember hearing a conversation that Mr. Russo had with my former
partner," recalled Mr. Sender. "I remember being offended that my
former partner was talking on the phone with someone that I had to
sue."


Mr. Sender also testified that he never discussed wiretapping with his
then attorney Bert Fields, he did throw David Moriarty, another
Greenberg Glusker attorney, under the bus. "it was my understanding
that Mr. Moriarty knew about it [the wiretapping.] He had the same
information I did. Mr. Moriarty was at a lot of my meetings with Mr.
Pellicano."


Mr. Sender testified that Mr. Pellicano was helpful to him in all kinds
of ways in relation to his lawsuit against Mr. Russo. Although Mr.
Sender declined to take Mr. Pellicano up on his offer to kill Mr. Russo
(see previous post), he did give the detective the authority to do just
about everything else. "You have, as far as I'm concerned, you know,
I'm trusting you 100 percent, you have free rein to do whatever you
feel will make this cocksucker as unhappy as possible," Mr. Sender told
Mr. Pellicano in a tape played in court today. "And what about the
lawsuit?" asked Mr. Pellicano. "Are you going to continue with that or
drop it?" "No, I'm going to continue with that." Mr. Pellicano tried
to get his orders straight. "In other words, we're going to do things
on two fronts or on one front and I just want to know that." Mr.
Sender made himself clear. "No, two fronts. I'm going to continue the
lawsuit until doomsday. And in the meantime, I'd like to make the
fuckin' asshole as uncomfortable as possible."



The government played a recording from April of 2001 in which Mr.
Pellicano actually complains about having to work endlessly on the
wiretapping of Mr. Russo. "I was there at 2:00 in the morning because
I had a technical problem," Mr. Pellicano complains on the recording
before asking for a bonus. "And if you really, really like what
happens, then some day in the future you may give me a bonus."


In a recording between Mr. Pellicano and Mr. Sender from May of 2001,
Mr. Pellicano assures Mr. Sender of his loyalty, noting "I've always
been like that. And that's why Bert uses me on every case." Mr.
Sender replies, "Good." Mr. Pellicano finishes up the call telling his
client that Mr. Russo is inching closer to the cliff and "has no
fucking idea it's coming."



Mr. Sender, whose remorse over the wiretapping seemed limited to be
slightly "ashamed," testified today that Mr. Pellicano played him ten
to fifteen wiretapped audio tapes of conversations involving Mr. Russo
and that he listened to those recordings for over a year. The
government played audio tape of Mr. But even after a year of listening
to tapes and being allegedly frightened that Mr. Pellicano might kill
Mr. Russo, Mr. Sender still didn't contact the authorities about either
the wiretapping or Mr. Pellicano's alleged threat against Mr. Russo.



And, just in case anyone in the jury doubted Mr. Sender's testimony
about Mr. Pellicano's threatening to kill Mr. Russo, Mr. Pellicano got
up on cross and verified it. With one hand behind his back, Mr.
Pellicano let the jury know exactly the nature of his offer to Mr.
Sender. "Mr. Pellicano didn't actually murder Mr. Russo, he merely
offered to murder him?" the former detective to the stars asked his
former client. And then, Mr. Pellicano clarified that his suggestion
not to kill, but to "whack" Mr. Russo and it was made after chatting
about how much money Mr. Sender had already spent on this matter.



On cross-examination by Mr. Hummel, Mr. Sender's apparent lack of
remorse over his wiretapping escapades was even more apparent. "You
gave Mr. Pellicano free rein and were glad to have him on your side?"
Mr. Hummel inquired. "I was," Mr. Sender replied smugly, eliciting a
proud smile from Mr. Pellicano.



During some tough cross-examination by Lawrence Semenza, defendant
Abner Nicherie's attorney, Mr. Sender admitted that even today, he was
still angry at Mr. Russo for duping him. Mr. Sender calmly told Mr.
Semenza that while he started off with just a lawsuit against Mr. Russo
to recover his money that his mission changed to "causing as much grief
as he could." When Mr. Semenza asked if Mr. Sender was happy enough
with the amount of pain and suffering he caused Mr. Russo, Mr. Sender
replied, "I don't agree I put him through pain and suffering, so, no."



Finally, Mr. Semenza put Mr. Sender's testimony into some perspective
for the jury. "So, Mr. Sender, " he said calmly, "Even after
wiretapping Mr. Russo, paying Mr. Pellicano over half a million dollars
and knowingly listening to wiretapped calls for over a year, you're
still not being prosecuted." "No, I am not," Mr. Sender replied.


At the end of the day, Lisa Gores, the ex-wife of billionaire Alex
Gores, took the stand. Looking like a Jennifer Aniston clone, Ms.
Gores testified to having an affair with her then brother-in-law, Tom
Gores. (The government asked permission from the court for Ms. Gores
to testify out of order because she is leaving for Europe this
evening.) Ms. Gores also told the jury that during her affair with her
husband's brother, she often thought that her car was being followed
and that he then husband was having her investigated. After a
rendez-vous with Tom Gores at the Beverly Hills' Hotel, Ms. Gores
testified that when she left, "I noticed a gentleman on one of the
sidewalks that led to the room." She testified that that evening,
January 8, 2001, she was so frightened after seeing the man at the
Beverly Hills' Hotel, that she called her then husband's brother,
Tom Gores, to discuss the matter. "I spoke to Tom about feeling like
were followed," she said. "We were trying to get our ducks in order.
We were both trying to figure out Alex's knowledge and comfort each
other." (Ms. Gores testimony about the different Gores brothers became
so confusing at one point that the Judge was forced to interrupt and
ask her which brother she was referring to--Alex or Tom Gores. Ms.
Gores testified about meeting with Mr. Pellicano after her affair had
been discovered, citing her concern over the tape. )



Ms. Gores told the courtroom that she'd listened to an audio recording
and determined that it was a recording of her conversation that night.
(The government intends to play this recording tomorrow. Based on the
government's own representations, this is the only alleged wiretap in
their possession.) Ms. Gores said that following her conversation
with Tom Gores that evening, Alec Gores admitted that he knew about the
affair. Ms. Gores ended up meeting with all three Gores' brothers
(Sam, Alec and Tom) at a restaurant in the valley where she and Tom
agreed to end their affair. "They basically said they knew and they
forbid it," she recalled of the "family" meeting. "Sam was mad at Alex
for my husband's affairs and upset with me and Tom. I was told we
could no longer talk to each other."



After the family meeting, Ms. Gores discovered that her then husband
had paid Mr. Pellicano to wiretap her and had a tape of her
conversation with his brother Tom Gores. Concerned about the tape
leaking out to the public, Ms. Gores met with Mr. Pellicano and asked
him to destroy the audio recording. Recalling her fears over the audio
tape being released, Ms. Gores began to cry.



Before Ms. Gores' tears could dry, Kevin Kachikian's attorney, Adam
Braun, was on his feet asking Ms. Gores about whether she actually
slept with her brother-in-law. In Clintonesque fashion, Ms. Gores
testified to having been "sexually intimate" with Tom Gores, but only to
a "degree." And, just in case the jury wasn't completely turned off by
Ms. Gores' testimony about having sexually intimate contact with her
brother-in-law. Mr. Braun also got her to admit that she lied to the
F.B.I. and like all the other really wealthy government witnesses, she
wasn't being prosecuted for it.



Mr. Saunders ended the day by telling the Judge that tomorrow's
witnesses will include: Giuseppe Franco (hairstylist to the stars) as
well as former Pellicano employee, Denise Ward. He also said that the
government hopes to rest sometime in the middle of next week.



Read all of HuffPost's coverage from inside the Pellicano courtroom