Pellicano case: Bada Bing

Hurley and BingBack in 2003, the Daily Mail paid a financial settlement and retracted its report that producer Steve Bing had hired PI to the stars Anthony Pellicano to spy on and destroy the reputation of pregnant girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley. Well, today's New York Times says that in the mounds of tape recordings and other evidence against Pellicano is plenty of evidence that Bing did pay the snoop to go after the actress and that Pellicano bragged he was on the Hurley case. Now, says the NYT, "the Daily Mail may try to recover its costly settlement with Mr. Bing."

The prospect of new litigation in the English courts shows how widely the ripples of the Pellicano investigation have spread. Already, more than a dozen people (including the actor Keith Carradine) have filed lawsuits after learning from prosecutors or news reports that their telephones were tapped by Mr. Pellicano or that he had otherwise invaded their privacy. Last week a Los Angeles judge delayed proceedings in many of those suits until after the criminal trial.

In his sworn declaration, dated January 2002 but sent to lawyers for The Daily Mail a year later, Mr. Pellicano said he had “never been engaged by Mr. Bing nor his attorney Mr. Martin Singer to investigate anyone on Mr. Bing’s behalf, including Ms. Hurley.” He also denied that he had been contacted by Mr. Bing or Mr. Singer about Ms. Hurley, or that he had ever “discussed anything” about Mr. Bing or Ms. Hurley “with any member of the press including The Daily Mail at any time.”

Largely on the strength of Mr. Pellicano’s declaration, The Daily Mail settled. It published a retraction saying “there was no truth in the allegations,” and a lawyer for the paper apologized before a High Court judge.

Singer told the NYT that it's still not true that Pellicano was paid to go after Hurley. The story is by the Pellicano reporting team of David M. Halbfinger and Allison Hope Weiner.

Photo: Reuters via NYT.com

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