THE BLOG
03/28/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Pellicano Trial: Shandling's Ex Linda Doucett Testifies About Threats

Update:
When reached for a comment, Ms. Doucett (who spoke only to HuffPost) maintained that she couldn't
discuss the content of her testimony. She said only that, "I'm glad
that it's over. I told the truth, but being there was much harder than
I thought it would be."
*****
Although most of the day featured a series of less than riveting
government witnesses called to tell the jury about how Mr. Pellicano
and former Sgt. Mark Arneson allegedly illegally looked up their
personal information, there were a couple of interesting moments in the
trial today provided by two of Mr. Pellicano's alleged victims. The
most riveting testimony of the day came from a nervous and often
scattered Linda Doucett, the former girlfriend of comedian Garry
Shandling. Ms. Doucett's started off with her testimony
being interrupted by the ringing of her cellular phone. After
apologizing profusely to the Judge, Ms. Doucett managed to turn the
thing off before she got thrown into the slammer. The Judge gets
particularly annoyed by ringing cell phones.

After the phone incident and the admission that she couldn't see much
because she'd forgotten her glasses, Ms. Doucett managed to settle down
and give some damaging testimony about Pellicano and Mr. Arneson.
After being shown some documents by the government and being helped
along by Mr. Lally, she managed to find the information on the
documents listing her social security number, address, phone numbers,
criminal history and DMV information. The government slowly, ever so
slowly, made the point over and over again with the day's witnesses,
including Ms. Doucett, that this private information had allegedly been
compiled by Mr. Pellicano and Mr. Arneson without their permission.
(They even forced several other witnesses to identify terribly
unflattering DMV photos of themselves, allegedly obtained without their
permission by Pellicano and Mr. Arneson. Looking at the photos up on
the screen, I was inclined to believe their testimony that they hadn't
willingly handed these over to anyone.)

It seemed like a couple of years passed before Mr. Lally finally got around to asking Ms. Doucett about a threat made against her
and her child. Ms. Doucett told the jury that after she first met with
F.B.I. agent Stan Ornellas in November 2003 about Mr. Pellicano, she
received a threatening phone call a few weeks later. She remembered
that Mr. Grey's attorney had been Bert Fields, but couldn't recall the
name of his firm--which was probably a good thing for Greenberg,
Glusker who'd already been identified earlier in the day as the firm
representing Mr. Grey in the lawsuit against Mr. Shandling. Ms.
Doucett told the jury that after meeting with Mr. Ornellas, a few weeks
later, she got a phone call from the L.A. Times asking to interview her
about Mr. Pellicano and his possible wiretapping of her. She said that
she declined to speak to the reporter, whose name she couldn't recall.

Wearing a conservative black suit, her voice cracked as she testified
that an unknown man telephoned her house, asked if she was Linda
Doucett and then said "if you talk to your friend, Stan, you won't be
seeing your child anymore and he won't be going to St. James." Ms.
Doucett testified that following the call, she called her friend,
Michael Fuchs, and he told her to contact the F.B.I. She said that
when she called Mr. Ornellas, he directed her to go to a payphone with
her son and call him from there. She told her son they were going for
ice cream and found a pay phone about three miles from her house. Ms.
Doucett also looked through a myriad of criminal history and DMV runs
that were allegedly made by Sgt. Mark Arneson. Explaining
apologetically that she'd left her glasses at home and telling the
courtroom that she was also really nervous, Ms. Doucett struggled to
read the tiny print on her copy of the criminal and DMV runs.

When Mr. Pellicano began his cross of Ms. Doucett, he decided for some
reason to have Ms. Doucett tell the jury again about how she and the
life of her child were threatened shortly after she met with the F.B.I.
She went through the details again for him--making sure this time
around to actually describe the terror she felt after the call. "I
locked my doors, kept my son with me and called a friend," she said of
her actions immediately following the call.

"Who was that friend?" Mr. Pellicano pressed, as if he had the friend
ready to pop up in the back of the courtroom and contradict her.

"Michael Fuchs," she answered.

"Michael Fuchs from HBO?" Mr. Pellicano countered, just to make sure
the jury and everyone else was aware that he knew his Hollywood players.

Mr. Pellicano then got Ms. Doucett to tell all the details of the
F.B.I. investigation into the threat against her--establishing for the
jury that the F.B.I. truly believed the threat was real. Then Mr.
Pellicano went in for the kill, asking her how she knew the call had
anything to do with Mr. Pellicano. "You're just the only bad guy I
know," Ms. Doucett replied. When Mr. Pellicano pressed her more about
why she thought he was behind the call, she went on about how it was
clear from all the exhibits that he'd investigated her and then she
didn't stop there. Before Mr. Pellicano could take cover, Ms. Doucett
became the first witness to point blank ask Mr. Pellicano, "Why did you
investigate me?" When Mr. Pellicano turned to the Judge to try and get
her to admonish Ms. Doucett, the Judge smiled and said, "Just ask
another question, Sir."

Mr. Hummel's cross-examination of Ms. Doucett was infinitely more
successful than Mr. Pellicano's, but then, that's not really saying
much. Mr. Hummel did manage to get Ms. Doucett to admit that there
might have been another bad guy in her life besides Mr.
Pellicano--referring her attention to statements she gave the F.B.I.
about Brad Grey, Mr. Shandling's former manager and now the head of
Paramount Studios. When Mr. Hummel asked if Ms. Doucett had told the
F.B.I. that Mr. Grey told her during one conversation that he'd
"threatened to ruin her," Ms. Doucett said that she didn't recall
telling the F.B.I. that particular quote. "I didn't say it like that,"
Ms. Doucett explained. By the time Mr. Hummel sat down, he'd also
succeeded in proving that whoever looked up the illegal personal
information on Ms. Doucett and used Mr. Arneson's name and password,
had misspelled her name on several occasions.

Mr. Lally repaired a few of Ms. Doucett's misstatements on redirect,
leaving the podium open for another appearance by Mr. Pellicano. Mr.
Pellicano again got Ms. Doucett to repeat the threat against her, just
in case the jury hadn't already committed it to memory. Mr. Pellicano
then wondered how Ms. Doucett put together her testimony in the
Shandling/Grey litigation in 1999 with the 2003 threat? Ms. Doucett,
who came off as open and unfailingly polite even to Mr. Pellicano,
explained yet again that she'd been questioned about the litigation and
Mr. Pellicano's role by Mr. Ornellas, that the press had called a few
weeks later to ask about "you and wiretapping," and then, she'd
received the threatening phone call about not talking to both Mr.
Ornellas and the press. Mr. Pellicano nodded, as if Ms. Doucett had
reached a stunning conclusion.

Another of Pellicano's victims also spent some time of the stand today,
Mrs. Jude Green. Ms. Green, who'd been involved in a contentious
divorce from her then husband, Leonard Green, testified on direct that
not only had her personal information been illegally obtained by Mr.
Pellicano and Mr. Arneson, but that Mr. Pellicano had personally
threatened her. She described how during the divorce and a civil
lawsuit filed by her husband against her, Mr. Pellicano had been hired
by Mr. Green's divorce lawyers, Mr. Wasser and Mr. Fields. She also
described how one day, a man, who she later found out was Mr.
Pellicano, pulled up behind her parked car and blocked her car. She
said that Mr. Pellicano leaned against the car with his arms crossed
and refused to move his Mercedes until she threatened to back her car
up into it. She also said he followed her to a coffee shop, where he
got in line behind her and pushed her.

Mr. Pellicano actually did some decent cross of the witness, driving
her to insanity by repeatedly asking her different versions of the same
question. At one point, when he asked her to describe how Mr.
Pellicano's car was parked, she sarcastically spat out,
"perpendicular. Do you know what that means?" Mr. Pellicano kept his
cool, responding that he didn't, asking her to explain it. At that
point, she began to get even more sarcastic and annoyed, particularly
at Mr. Pellicano's referring to himself in the third person.
(Apparently, the judge hadn't advised her that he was instructed to
that.) At one point when he asked again about her car being blocked by
his car and inquired, "What did this person say?" She exploded, saying
"He--you--said nothing." When he again asked her what she did after
"this person" pushed you in the coffee shop, she spat back, "I turned
around and said get the fuck away from me. Remember that?"

Mr. Pellicano, his voice still calm and soft, said politely, "No
Ma'am. I don't remember that."

If you want really want a sense of what it was like it court, let me
just quote the judge. After the jury left for the day, the Judge let
the prosecution know what she thought about their presentation. "This
is really lengthy and boring," Judge Fischer told Mr. Saunders and Mr.
Lally, who seemed almost to agree with her by their subdued body
language. Mr. Saunders ended the day saying that he intends to call a
number of witnesses tomorrow, listing Gregory Dovel, Bo Zenga's lawyer,
as one of the first few. Mr. Dovel represented Mr. Zenga in his
lawsuit against Brad Grey. And, if you haven't guessed, Mr. Grey was
represented by Bert Fields. Also on tomorrow's cast list, a few of Mr.
Pellicano's clients who've been identified by former employees as
having listened to intercepted recordings at Mr. Pellicano's office.
Mr. Grey was also on the witness list--although it's doubtful if the
government will get to him tomorrow.


Read more coverage from the Pellicano trial