Seamy sidelight to U-T deal

Platinum Equity, the Bev Hills investment firm that's buying the San Diego Union-Tribune, owns companies with revenues totalling $27.5 billion. You've probably never heard of the businesses making up its portfolio (Acument Global Technologies, Covad Communications Group, iET Solutions, etc.), so buying the U-T is a big deal in terms of visibility. That might be unfortunate for the man who founded the firm, billionaire Tom Gores. In some quarters he is best known for popping up during the Anthony Pellicano trial. It turns out that he was having an affair with Lisa Gores, his brother Alec's then-wife (Alec is also a billionaire). Allison Hope Weiner reported on the testimony last year for the HuffPost:

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 her then husband was having her investigated. After a rendezvous 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--Alec or Tom Gores.)


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 Alec 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."

Platinum Equity's front man in the U-T deal is principal Louis Samson. �We have a long history of creating value by helping established companies navigate difficult market transitions,� Samson said in a written statement. �The Union-Tribune is more than a business. It's an institution in San Diego. Here's the release.

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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
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