At today's sentencing of Anthony Pellicano, former Los Angeles Times Hollywood reporter Anita Busch — she's also the ex-editor of The Hollywood Reporter — accuses the Times of collaborating with the disgraced private eye who conspired to threaten her with violence over a story. She spoke in court about the personal cost to her of the whole affair, which began in 2002 when she found a dead fish, a rose and a note saying "Stop" to go with a smashed windshield on her car. Blogger Patterico has the entire statement she read to Pellicano as a victim in the case; here's an excerpt:
Mr. Pellicano, after you and your employers relentlessly attacked all of us and got caught after years of doing this to others, you and your lawyers just kept attacking. You attacked the FBI, the search warrant, a potential witness, the veracity of your victims, launched personal attacks on the lead FBI agent on the case and U.S. Attorney, went after the jury and then the verdict itself.
And you did most all of it through the Los Angeles Times where I unfortunately found out while working there that you had a trusted relationship with the lawyer advising me and one of the reporters that they had covering this criminal case....
Your co-conspirator Mr. Kachikian aided and abetted you so that my computer was hacked into and 18 years of my musical compositions – which I considered my life’s work – were destroyed.
When Mr. Turner and other co-conspirators at the phone company helped you tap my phones, you not only violated my privacy and that of my family and friends, but you violated the privacy of a journalist AND her sources, undermining the very fundamentals of my profession. This attack was also on journalism and a newspaper’s ability to gather the news.
By carrying out these crimes, you not only hurt me, you hurt my elderly parents, my brothers and sisters and my friends.
After these threats, I was afraid to come and go from my house. I was afraid to sit in my car for even a moment out in the street for fear that a car would speed up on me again, block me in and this time I WOULD be killed. And that was a Catch-22 because I was ALSO petrified to turn over the engine of my car for fear that it would blow up.
So, I would sit there and cry and pray and beg, “Please God, I want to live.”
Or some days, after a night of nightmares, I would close my eyes and just scream really loud as I turned the key to the ignition. And when I didn’t blow up, I’d wipe my eyes and go onto work at the L.A. Times and face the snickers from the disbelievers.
The day after the first threat, the lawyer at the L.A. Times, Karlene Goller, wanted YOU on board to help because as she said, “He’s done work for us in the past and he’s done well by us.” The editor told her no, but she did it anyway. Without my knowledge or the knowledge of law enforcement, she had reporter Chuck Philips call you about my case. Philips had a longtime relationship with you as a news source and had worked for years alongside Karlene’s husband.
I was new to the paper, but you weren’t. And you USED the relationships you had there against me. You made sure my newspaper didn’t believe me so behind the scenes you could ruin my employment just like you and your clients did to other victims.
The day you were arrested, that’s when the cover-up began at my newspaper....
* Entire mention of Busch in LAT story: "The reporter, Anita Busch, told the judge Monday that Pellicano's intimidation and wiretapping were like 'death by a thousand cuts.'"
Updated and edited