More sex, lies and audiotapes

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Lies and deceit returned briefly to the witness stand Thursday in the wiretapping and racketeering trial of Anthony Pellicano and four others.

Producer, music executive and former Madonna manager Freddy DeMann took the stand for about 15 minutes to testify that he hired the former private eye to investigate his daughter's then-husband, whom he had suspected of cheating on her.

His testimony came after another long day of detailed testimony by former FBI agent and computer expert Jeff Edwards and then AT&T manager David Lopes, who investigates illegal conduct by employees.

On the stand, DeMann answered mostly yes and no questions. He confirmed to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Lally that he hired Pellicano in summer 2000 to investigate art dealer Paul Rusconi and during a five-month period paid $135,000 for the private investigator's services.

When asked to identify Pellicano, DeMann picked out the former private eye sitting to his left. Pellicano raised his hand, which went from a wave to a pointed fist that he punched up briefly before dropping his arm.

Jurors were not told of DeMann's background, which included repping Madonna, co-founding Maverick Records and producing Broadway shows and several films, including the 1995 comedy "Canadian Bacon" and the 2004 HBO movie "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers."

DeMann said he visited Pellicano's Sunset Boulevard office four to six times to get updates on the investigation. Each time, he listened to audiotaped conversations of Rusconi and others.

As a result, he was able to confirm that Rusconi was cheating on his daughter, Pilar DeMann, who is also a producer and who is also scheduled to testify soon in the case.

Asked whether he was aware that the audiotapes were phone conversations, DeMann said, "I assumed they were," but he couldn't explain to Lally what brought him to that conclusion.

Upon learning that Rusconi was cheating, DeMann said he confronted his daughter and "played one second of one conversation" of audio provided by Pellicano.

On cross-examination, attorney Chad Hummel, who represents co-defendant Mark Arneson, a former Los Angeles police sergeant, took to the podium and said he had just one question to ask DeMann.

"Do you consider your daughter better off today as a result of Mr. Pellicano's …"

"Objection!" Lally said, which Judge Dale Fischer granted.

Neither Pellicano nor the other defense attorneys cross-examined DeMann, and he was dismissed from testifying.
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