By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
“He wanted to take [all the blame] onto himself, but he’s very protective and secretive — that’s his Italian heritage.”
This view contrasts sharply with Jordison’s lack of empathy for Anita Busch. It was the ham-fisted intimidation of Busch that first tipped the police and FBI off to Pellicano’s folkloric history of breaking the law in the service of powerful Hollywood clients. In June 2002, Busch found a dead fish on her Audi, whose windshield had been cracked. A rose was stuck into the fish’s mouth, and a note with the single word “Stop” completed this threatening tableau mort.
At first, suspicion for this crime fell on possible underworld figures, since Busch was writing an L.A. Times story about actor Steven Seagal’s ties to allegedly mob-connected film producer Julius Nasso. Only later did Busch believe that Pellicano had a hand in the fish-and-rose incident, after it came to light that his client, Michael Ovitz, had hired him to snoop into the lives of Busch and Bernard Weinraub, both of whom had written New York Times articles embarrassing to Ovitz.
Many courtroom spectators had found Pellicano’s cross-examination of Busch, who repeatedly broke down in tears, brutal and egregious — almost like the humiliation of a rape victim. Jordison didn’t see it that way.
“I didn’t think he was bullying her,” Jordison says, adding she wasn’t moved by Busch’s tears. Yet Jordison had deeper questions about Busch’s behavior following the 2002 vandalism of her car.
“I didn’t understand why Busch was going after the mob but acting like a frail person,” Jordison says. “You’d think that as a reporter she’d have a little more backbone. But she was acting as though she was afraid to answer her front door.”
If anything, Jordison was far more sympathetic to the powerful subject of Busch and Weinraub’s writing.
“I kinda felt sorry for Michael Ovitz,” Jordison says of the Hollywood mogul and co-founder of Creative Artists Agency. Journalists “Busch and Weinraub were trying to bring down his company.”
Jordison’s stated belief that Busch and Weinraub were doing the very same thing that Michael Ovitz was doing — trying to get information — was revealing in this court narrative about those who view possession of other people’s personal data as the key to success. Still, Jordison believes, Ovitz would have been better off ignoring what the two journalists were up to.
“He should’ve left it alone,” she says.
After nearly 45 minutes of talk, Jordison is approaching Ojai and has nearly 100 miles to go before reaching home. It’s time to put aside the trial for now — or at least until July, when she and her fellow jurors and alternates will gather for a barbecue reunion.
Click here for Steven Mikulan's same-day blog on the Pellicano verdict.
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