12:18pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Keith Carradine Settles Anthony Pellicano Lawsuit
The Anthony Pellicano legal psychodrama continues to run its course.
Keith Carradine has become the latest to wrap up a civil lawsuit. The actor, who won an Oscar for songwriting in Robert Altman's Nashville and most recently had star turns in Deadwood and Dexter, claimed that notorious P.I.-to-the-stars Pellicano had spied on him in the midst of contentious divorce proceedings about 15 years ago. Carradine sued his ex-wife Sandra Will Carradine, Pellicano, Pacific Bell, former LAPD sergeant Mark Arneson and the City of Los Angeles over an alleged conspiracy that invaded his privacy.
The dispute was primed to go to trial later this week. But on Monday, attorneys for the actor told a judge that a settlement had been reached to put an end to a fight that dates back to 1993, when the Carradines separated.
After Keith and Sandra Will split, both parties found new romances in their life. A divorce needed to be finalized.
According to the actor's lawsuit, "From the outset of the divorce proceedings, Defendant Sandra Will engaged in scorched-earth litigation tactics that knew no moral, ethical or legal bounds. She began the case by callously having the divorce papers served upon Mr. Carradine with an order that he evacuate his home by midnight that day. Defendant Sandra Will barraged Mr. Carradine with endless harassing and threatening phone calls, including messages stating, 'hell would be too great a place for you' and threats such as 'Keith, you are a goner.' "
The actor said that to ensure an advantage in divorce proceedings, his ex-wife hired Pellicano. The private investigator allegedly attempted illegal entry into Carradine's home, gained information through false pretenses, and wiretapped the phone conversations of both Carradine and co-plaintiff Hayley DuMond, an actress who became engaged to the actor.
"Defendants Sandra Will and Pellicano were not only working together, but they became romantically involve," says the lawsuit. "The intrusions into Plaintiffs lives continued."
The lawsuit further stated that in January 2006, Sandra Will "acknowledged her involvement in the wiretapping scheme when she pled guilty to two counts of perjury and admitted that she retained Pellicano's services to wiretap her ex-husband's phone lines."
Two years later, Pellicano himself was sentenced to 15 years in prison for running a wiretapping enterprise on behalf of some of the most powerful figures in Hollywood. As Pellicano went to jail, nearly two dozen Pellicano-related civil lawsuits were filed by various victims including Carradine.
Some of the lawsuits have been settled. Examples include one lawsuit against Chris Rock and a class action against AT&T brought by more than 500 unintentional victims of his wiretapping. (The latter settlement is still being finalized with a class notice on the verge of being sent out.) Other Pellicano-related lawsuits were dismissed after court rulings determined that the statute of limitations had run its course. Examples of dismissed actions include a lawsuit against Tom Cruise and another lawsuit against Paramount chief Brad Grey.
In the Carradine case, a judge denied the defendants' summary judgment motion arguing that the statute of limitations had precluded the actor's claims. As a result, the trial set for this week was to examine defendants' liability and the possible awarding of damages. The terms of Carradine's settlement haven't been publicly revealed.
There's still litigation left outstanding from the Pellicano mess. In particular, there's former Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch's attempt to pin blame on Michael Ovitz for hiring Pellicano to intimidate her. In late September, a judge presided over a three-day trial in the first phase of the battle in order to figure out whether she brought her claims against Ovitz soon enough. A ruling is pending.