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Movie Mogul Keeps Pellicano in Cigs

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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PEN PALS Meyer, Pellicano (inset)

The Los Angeles Times has been investigating Universal Studios head Ron Meyer in hopes of finding something untoward about his gambling habit. But maybe the paper should have looked into other uses of his money.

For the past year and a half, Meyer (whose daughter, Jen, is engaged to Tobey Maguire) has been depositing $200 a month in Anthony Pellicano's prison commissary account. Meyer has also helped the indicted private investigator stay on top of the news by arranging for him to receive subscriptions to the Times and the Wall Street Journal.

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While other Hollywood big shots have tried to distance themselves from Pellicano, who stands accused of using illegal wiretaps to make his clients' legal worries disappear, Meyer's spokesman was happy to confirm the gesture of friendship.

Still unclear is why the Times was so avid to nail Meyer, who testified about Pellicano's work for Michael Ovitz in front of a grand jury in 2005. One theory has the paper, whose reporting has often seemed sympathetic to Pellicano and hostile to the government's case against him, looking to discredit anyone whose testimony might contribute to a conviction. There's also the claim of one well-placed Times source that the paper has itself made use of Pellicano's services in the past—though a Times spokesperson denies that: "This is an old assertion that has been recycled over the years but has no validity."



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