9:21am PT by Ashley Cullins
Michael Ovitz, Anita Busch Settle Pellicano Dispute Ahead of Trial
On Monday, attorneys for Michael Ovitz were expected to argue why they should be able to tell a jury that Steven Seagal was the man behind a 2002 threat to journalist Anita Busch that was allegedly orchestrated by infamous private investigator Anthony Pellicano. Instead, the parties told the court the case against Ovitz will be dismissed.
That trial, more than a decade in the making, was set to begin Feb. 5. Busch's attorney, Evan Marshall, could only say that the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.
Busch launched her suit in 2004 against anonymous John Does. She amended the complaint two years later, naming Ovitz as a defendant and alleging the CAA co-founder hired Pellicano to intimidate her by placing a dead fish, a rose and a note that said "stop" on the broken windshield of her car.
The journalist had been working on one story about Ovitz's career and another about Seagal and his alleged ties to the Gambino family and organized crime in Hollywood. Busch has testified that, at the time, she was unsure which story sparked the warning.
Ovitz in October indicated that, while he doesn't dispute hiring Pellicano to investigate Busch, he intends to argue the Under Siege actor was the one behind the dead fish. Busch argues the third-party blame is based on nothing more than hearsay and shouldn't be presented to the jury.
Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Elihu Berle vacated Monday's hearing and next week's trial. It remains to be seen whether Busch will pursue her case against Pellicano, who was severed from this matter in November.