*Rock + Pellicano = Zzzzzz

Don't these people get it? A wiretapping trial that involves megawatt celebrities, not to mention a bunch of mistresses and high-priced call girls, should be, well, scandalous. At the least diverting. Instead a nervous Chris Rock took the stand this morning to testify for 20 minutes or so that, yes, he had hired Hollywood's favorite gumshoe to find incriminating information about a Hungarian model who filed a paternity suit against him. Just 20 minutes? An episode of "Everybody Hates Chris" runs longer. Rock said he hired Tony the P because he felt he was being shaken down when Monika Zsibrita accused him of fathering her child after a one night stand at the Beverly Hills Hotel. "Someone who is not pregnant with my child claims to be pregnant with my child and requested large sums of money," said Rock. Zzzzzzzzz… Prosecutors allege that Pellicano paid an LAPD officer to run unauthorized background checks on Zsibrita. Tests showed later that Rock was not the father. Here are early stories from Reuters and the LAT.

*Update: At the Huffington Post, Allison Hope Weiner provides some texture on the Rock testimony - mainly that the guy came off sounding like a bit of a jerk. "Mr. Rock, who was admonished by the Judge to project after he mumbled the spelling of his name, seemed alternatively bored and annoyed by the prosecutor's questions," she posted. "When asked if the woman who claimed to be having his child was Monika Zsibrita, Mr. Rock tiredly responded, 'guess so."

On cross-examination, Mr. Rock appeared to be even more annoyed about having to be in the courtroom. When asked if he'd ever met one of the defendants, Mr. Rock replied, "I meet a lot of people." Taking a page from the Brad Grey book of Pellicano testimony, Mr. Rock told the jury that he chosen to hire Mr. Pellicano based on his attorney's recommendation. When Mr. Hummel, the attorney for Sgt. Mark Arneson, asked Mr. Rock about whether the comedian believed that Ms. Zsibrita's paternity claim was false and that he'd been "shaken down" by her, Mr. Rock seemed to take umbrage at the form of the question. "I didn't believe the claim was false, DNA tests proved it was false," he said irritably. "Someone not pregnant with my child claimed to be pregnant with my child and requested large sums of money."

What would you bet that some of this eventually winds up in his act? After Rock came L.A. billionaire Alec Gores, who apparently provided details about how he found out that his brother was sleeping with his wife.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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