11:00am PT by Eriq Gardner, Alex Ben Block
Tom Cruise Wins Lawsuit Over Anthony Pellicano Wiretapping (Exclusive)
Tom Cruise and his attorney Bert Fields have scored a big win.
On Monday, the two prevailed on summary judgment against former Bold magazine editor Michael Davis Sapir, who accused the pair of hiring Anthony Pellicano to spy on him.
Sapir became entangled with Cruise more than a decade ago. The magazine editor offered a $500,000 reward for evidence that the actor was gay. Soon thereafter, the magazine claimed it had obtained video evidence that Cruise engaged in a homosexual relationship.
For making the claim, Sapir was hit with a $100 million defamation lawsuit. The suit eventually was settled, but before that happened, Cruise and his reps allegedly hired Pellicano to spy on Sapir.
For this, the editor filed a $5 million lawsuit against Cruise and Fields.
As evidence of the spying, Sapir's lawsuit said that the FBI recovered a file from Pellicano's offices titled "Michael Davis matter" and a computer file entitled "Bold" with the password "Bold cocksucker omerta." The lawsuit alleged that Pellicano was listening into conversations that Sapir had with his attorney about the Cruise defamation lawsuit.
Sapir's lawsuit against Cruise and Pellicano had other salacious tidbits. For example, Sapir also alleged that Pellicano taped recordings between Cruise and Nicole Kidman while the actors were going through their divorce.
But the lawsuit hasn't survived.
On Monday, a Los Angeles Superior Court ruled from the bench that the allegations weren't brought within the statute of limitations.
Judge Elihu Berle said that by 2003, Sapir had seen news reports about Pellicano activities and that Sapir admittedly was suspicious. Because he had reasonable suspicions, Sapir had a duty to investigate further. The plaintiff didn't, and the lawsuit wasn't filed until December 2009.
Cruise joins Brad Grey as escaping Pellicano-related lawsuits thanks to the claims being time-barred. Many other lawsuits proceed, including one against Michael Ovitz for allegedly hiring Pellicano to intimidate Anita Busch. Recently, the same judge ruled that Ovitz has failed to show that he's entitled to summary judgment on statute of limitation grounds.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @eriqgardner