Paul Barresi Info

Transcripts and Articles relating to what prosecution mouthpieces have said about this case in public.

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Paul Barresi Info

Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:13 am

For the record, Paul Barresi is the guy who Dimond talked to about her Marc Schaffel 3-part special which aired on Court TV Aug25,26,27. In her programming she didn't mention the sordid past of Barresi, but used him as some sort of glorified insider when he, has just as crooked a past of Schaffel.

Paul Barresi article on outing Travolta.
G - 20 Feb 2000

The following article by Jake Enclan (Arts Editor) is in the current issue of Fab!, a bi-monthly gay news magazine published in Los Angeles. The magazine's website is out-dated and does not currently carry this article. The article, much of what is Barresi's personal interpretation of events is prefaced in brackets with known facts that contradict statements made in this article.

March 3, 2000


Outspoken, opinionated, rebel, snitch...or is he just misunderstood? Porn actor-director Paul Barresi is one angry man. With 52 films under his belt and a career that has endured 30 years, Barresi maintains a quirky love-hate relationship with the adult film industry, the gay community and Hollywood in general.

He's not your typical gay porn star. First of all - he's not gay. Secondly, he has probably achieved more mainstream recognition than most in the adult film industry, however, that probably has more to do with his JOHN TRAVOLTA connection than his creative endeavors.

After outing John Travolta in the National Enquirer in 1990 , life has never been the same for Barresi, an extremely complex man who seems to be constantly dealing with issues of acceptance.

On the one hand he complains about being discriminated against in the gay porn industry and asks why he is not accepted by his peers. On the other hand, however, he claims that most of the key players are scum bags, pedophiles and liars - which makes one wonder why he would even want to be a part of a group he seems to so intensively dislike.

While disparity seems like it should be his middle name, the truth of the matter is that Barresi, as shocking as this may seem to some, gives the impression of an extremely moral, ethical and principled fellow, more like your favorite gym teacher in high school than an adult film legend.

Those seeking an answer to the various contradictions in this man's turbulent career might gain some insight from Barresi's bio. Born in 1948 in Lynn, Massachusetts, an industrial city north of Boston, Barresi was the second of four brothers. His father was a high-ranking civilian employee with the U.S. Navy, and Barresi, educated in Catholic schools, did his upmost to prove to his family that he was the best little boy in the world. After graduating from high school, he secured a wrestling scholarship to the University of Maryland. Later, during the patriotic "America - Love It or Leave It" days of the Vietnam war, Barresi left college to join the Air Force.

After his discharge, it seems as though Barresi, like so many other young men who returned from the battlefields with a different perspective on life, decided to reach for his true dream. In 1972, ex-Air Force man and all-around macho guy Paul Barresi headed out to Los Angeles to become an actor. At first things seemed to be going his way. He landed a small role in the movie "The Wild Party," starring Raquel Welch and James Coco, directed by James Ivory. Like so many young actors in Hollywood, however, the mainstream roles didn't seem to be pouring in and Barresi did what he could to make a living.

In 1975, Barresi posed nude for Playgirl magazine and later on, during the late '70's and '80's, Barresi appeared in several adult films and videos, mostly straight, some gay. "I have no hang-ups about straight, gay, bi, or anything else," says Barresi, who is now married with children. "When I was young and wild, just like alot of other straight boys, I would just about **** anything," says Barresi, eloquently.

"Had it not been for AIDS," he explains, "bi-sexuality would be far more accepted today than it is. But the virus threw everybody in the closet. Everybody kept their own behavior in check because they didn't want to be branded. That's why alot of closet cases like John Travolta would only go out with straight men because he was so fearful of catching AIDS."

Speaking of Travolta, while Barresi clearly doesn't like talking about this episode in his past, (during our interview Barresi emphasizes forcefully, that he doesn't think that the subject should be delved into too deeply) there is no way one can write about the man without going into one of the most famous outing incidents of the decade.

"It was not out of jealousy and it was not out of revenge," explains Barresi at first, but after a few seconds he recants. "Well maybe, there was some kind of a vendetta. Let me give it to you straight. In late 1983 when I was working with John Travolta on the film "Perfect," he promised me that I would be his new personal fitness trainer once his present trainer - Dan Isaacson - leaves. So, in 1990, I went to see John in Bel Air - he was staying in a hotel and he introduced me to a gentleman that was in his suite and said, "This is my new trainer." I said, "Really? Nice to meet you," but that pissed me off."

"I was willing, however, to let it go because some years passed and maybe he'd forgotten the promise he made to me. But the straw that broke the camel's back was when I was leaving. He handed me the remnants of the complimentary hotel basket with partially eaten fruit inside and open packages. The only thing that was intact was the bottle of Dom Perignon champagne. So I took the champagne and put it on the shelf in my apartment as a reminder of how demeaning and how cruel he was to me. To give me leftovers as if he was giving me a gift of some kind. So, after that, I pondered the idea and I decided to tell the (National) Enquirer about who Travolta really is."

>. While Barresi strenuously objected last year to a post made Garry Scarff defining Barresi & Travolta's former relationship as one of "**** buddies", both Graham Berry, Garry Scarff and a large crowd of diners at Mark's Restaurant in West Hollywood were witness to Barresi boldly standing up from his chair and yelling "I ****ed John Travolta in the ass and he loved it."

Third, though Barresi claims he bears no ill will towards Travolta, and claims to be sensitive to the subject of Travolta's letters to him, this has not stopped Barresi from exploring the idea of selling the letters to the highest bidder for "a quarter to half a million dollars.">

The hysterical reaction to the Enquirer's Travolta feature, in which Barresi revealed their sexual affair, was more, much more, than Barresi expected. In an interview with the gay mag 'The Guide' in 1998, Barresi claims that photocopies of the Enquirer article were sent anonymously to the owners of his building, every one of his neighbors, every one of his fitness clients, his parents, and his brothers.

"It just about wrecked my life," Barresi told The Guide. "My whole world fell apart. My family disowned me. I lost all but two of my fitness clients. I was barred from almost every gym in town, and it cost me jobs." In the end, Travolta's attorney convinced Baresso to issue a retraction and an apology.

"I was having a nervous breakdown," Barresi said. "I just wanted it to be over." However, Barresi told 'The Guide' that "when the dust settled, I regretted the retraction a lot more than I regretted the initial call to the Enquirer." .

That tumultuous episode seems to have left a lasting impression on the former wrestler, former Air Force man. While it seems as though Barresi felt that Travolta was getting what he deserved, he never expected the venomous reaction from the local gay community. Barresi, a man of his word, just wasn't ready to deal with Hollywood's "love-ya-mean-it" attitude.

Whether it has to do with his heterosexuality or the bad publicity from the Travolta affair, today, says Barresi, "not one gay-owned or run manufacturer of gay porn, despite my exceptional track record of having written, produced and directed over 52 successful gay videos to date, has hired me. They include All Worlds Video, Hollywood Sales, Odyssey, and Falcon Studios to name a few."

One of the reasons for the animosity between Barresi and the gay porn industry, revolves around, it seems, Barresi's moral code, which, according to him, is quite a few notches higher than the others. Barresi expounds expansively on the low moral standards in the industry, mentioning names of directors and producers that, according to him, are guilty of pedophilia, prostitution and all around sleazy scum behavior.


Aside from that, Barresi also has a problem with the subject matter of some gay videos. "In the gay genre whenever you come up with a movie that suggests you're having sex with your son, or your father or relative, I mean the ****ing video is a sell out, and the critics don't criticize it. But if you co-mingle some good straight man-to-man sex with scenes that have some violence.... for example, I did a movie called "The Underboss' and I got so much ****ing criticism for that. The righteous gay-porn world put that and me down, and it really pisses me off.... They don't condone that, but they condone and support incest. Now explain that to me, buddy."

While one might think that Barresi might be better off in the world of straight porn, his ongoing work - writing and directing gay porn videos - is just one of the many complexities that seem to revolve around this unique adult video star. In the ebd, however, it seems that the real gripe is about acknowledgement, approval and acceptance.

"I'm talking to you because I want to set the record straight about these people," says Barresi. "Why should I be the only one that always gets criticized and ridiculed? I'm not recognized by my peers in the porn industry. I'm discriminated against - maybe because I live my life as a straight man."

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Paul Barresi Info

Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:19 am

John Travolta's Male Lover

Paul Barresi: Profiled
The Guide, March 1998
by Jim D'Entremont

Tricking with Travolta

In Perfect, John Travolta's second collaboration with the late gay director James Bridges (Urban Cowboy, The China Syndrome), homoeroticism runs rampant. As a character based on Rolling Stone reporter Aaron Latham, Travolta delves into California fitness culture. The 1985 box-office failure, which is better than its reputation, has attracted a growing core of gay fans. In aerobics instructor Jamie Lee Curtis's exercise class, Travolta, bulging perkily in clingy sweat-stained cotton shorts and flashing an impudent grin, serves up shots of pelvic thrusts that are hotter than many gay porn loops. There's also a drawn-out male strip show sequence and lots of lovingly framed shots of male buttocks bobbing aerobically. Paul Barresi appears briefly in Perfect as a denizen of the Beverly Hills Sports Connection, the health club where much of the film is set. During a locker-room photo shoot, he strips to a jockstrap at the request of a Rolling Stone photographer played by Anne DeSalvo.

When Perfect was shot, Barresi's relationship with Travolta was about a year old. As Barresi tells it, they met in 1982, when the star of Saturday Night Fever sought him out at the Beverly Hills Gym. "I was in the shower, butt-naked and soaped up from head to toe," Barresi says, when Travolta walked in and introduced himself. "I asked if he was looking for the manager. `No,' he said, `I'm looking for you.'"

Barresi says Travolta was well acquainted with his status as a porn icon. "Out at his ranch," Barresi recalls, "he had a whole collection of my videos and magazines, just the straight stuff." He adds that the deeply closeted Travolta preferred sex with straight or bisexual men who fit a certain rugged heterosexual stereotype, avoiding contact with men who were openly gay.

The relationship kept a low profile. "We went to dinner together publicly once in a while," Barresi says, "but mostly we stayed at his ranch or at my place. It was understood that the whole basis of our relationship was strictly the sex." Nevertheless, according to Barresi, Travolta "kept acting like I was his best friend."

Bitter fruit

As time went by, Barresi says he felt increasingly strung along and used. The last straw came when Travolta, in the market for a new personal trainer, promised Baressi the job. One day early in 1990, however, when Barresi went to visit Travolta at the Bel Air Hotel, he found him with another man whose clothes were strewn all over the room. "John said, `Oh, by the way, Paul," Barresi recalls, "this is so-and-so, my new trainer."

It was a brief, awkward visit. Travolta sent Barresi on his way with a gift? the remnants of the welcome basket hotel management had sent up when Travolta arrived. "In the basket was stuff like a half-eaten apple, pieces of fruit and candy with bites taken out of them, and a bottle of Dom Perignon," Barresi says. "I left the hotel with tears streaming down my face, carrying this stupid basket, and when I got home I threw the basket away, put the champagne in the refrigerator... and then later on I used it to celebrate my call to the National Enquirer."

He asked the Enquirer for $100,000 in exchange for the details of his relationship with Travolta. They agreed to his price without blinking. "I did it to get even," Barresi says, "and I did it for the money. If I'd known what it would bring down on me, and especially what it would do to my family, I wouldn't have done it."

The story appeared in an April, 1990 issue of the Enquirer. Reaction was swift and intense. Photocopies of the Enquirer article were sent anonymously to the owners of Barresi's building, every one of his neighbors, every one of his fitness clients, his parents, and his brothers. Savage anonymous notes were pasted to his door. He received telephoned death threats, including one particularly strange assaultive call at a clothing store where he was browsing. He was characterized in print as a lowfife gigolo seeking publicity. "It just about wrecked my life," Barresi remembers. "My whole world fell apart. My family disowned me, I lost all but two of my fitness clients, I was barred from almost every gym in town, and it cost me jobs." Some of the anger directed at Barresi came from the Hollywood gay establishment, venting its wrath at a time when the controversy over "outing" was just beginning and the practice was considered supremely bad form.

Questions linger about the extent to which the "Church" of Scientology may have mobilized against Barresi. John Travolta is a longtime adherent of the "religious" cult invented by the late pulp sci-fi novelist L. Ron Hubbard, creator of the self-help juggernaut called Dianetics. Homosexuality is one of the conditions Scientology claims to be able to cure. Barresi refuses to comment on whether or not he believes an organized hate campaign perpetrated by members of the "church" occurred. But many of the forms of harassment he encountered are consistent with Scientologists' well-documented attacks on their enemies. It's worth noting, however, that while Scientologists are a notoriously litigious lot, Travolta never attempted to sue.

Pulled a Lewinsky

In the end, Barresi accepted assurances from Travolta's attorney that the affair could be brought "to a soft landing" if he issued a retraction and an apology. "I was having a nervous breakdown," Barresi says. "I just wanted it to be over. But when the dust settled, I regretted the retraction a lot more than I regretted that initial call to the Enquirer." Barresi eventually reconciled with his family, but his thriving crossover career may not have recovered.

Rumors persist that Travolta has been pressured to promote the "church" under threat of disclosure of his sexual history. Be that as it may, Travolta, who now commands more than $20 million per picture, hastened to marry actress and fellow Scientologist Kelly Preston a few months after the National Enquirer story broke. At the same time, he stepped up his visibility as a Scientology spokesperson. Accepting a Golden Globe award for his work in Get Shorty, he thanked L. Ron Hubbard, several of whose novels he has promised to produce as films. Kelly Preston recently told Premiere magazine's Holly Millea: "John has had an amazing life he's remained on top of it all, and I know it's because of Scientology. It's misunderstood sometimes, and I couldn't give a ****. Scientology is so radically cool."

By Garry Scarff
I had a meeting today with John Travolta's former **** buddy, Paul Barresi who showed me the photos & letters tying John to Paul. I have also agreed to help Paul bring this matter to worldwide attention, not to "out" John or denigrate him, but bring out the truth on a very delicate subject for John: how to best hide and deny his homosexuality while remaining the outspoken goldenboy for the extremely homophobic cult of Scientology.

John: if you're lurking about and reading this, I have a question for you. If the relationship between you and Paul never existed, could you please explain the letter I read today postmarked December 2, 1989, from Jacksonville, Florida where you wrote "One of these days, we will get together again to speak or see each other, better sooner than later... Love Always, John".

John Travolta not only slept with and enjoyed oral & anal sex with Paul Barresi, and dressing up in women's clothes to mimic Bette Davis, but maintained a sexual attraction for Sylvester Stallone (whose brother Frank is a Scieno). John, in fact, travelled to Bangkok, Thailand where Sylvester was on some politically-motivated PR event. John sent a very interesting love letter to Paul from the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok. Obviously, Sly never returned his affection to Bette Davis, er, John.

It's interesting, too, that a recent magazine entitled "Before They Were Stars" spoke of John Travolta's childhood, where his overprotective sisters would dress John up in women's wear and refer to him as their sister. And a producer from Entertainment Tonight, where I was interviewed, told me of a recent event where Travolta was seen on a plane cuddling another man. Travolta's response to an puzzled flight attendant was "my wife and I have an understanding."

John Travolta has some explaining to do, before these and other tidbits of information are released to the public on a grand scale.

Garry Scarff

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Paul Barresi Info

Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:21 am

"Competition among news organizations became so fierce," says KNBC reporter Conan Nolan, that "stories weren't being checked out. It was very unfortunate." The National Enquirer put twenty reporters and editors on the story. One team knocked on 500 doors in Brentwood trying to find Evan Chandler and his son. Using property records, they finally did, catching up with Chandler in his black Mercedes. "He was not a happy man. But I was," said Andy O'Brien, a tabloid photographer.

Next came the accusers -- Jackson's former employees. First, Stella and Philippe Lemarque, Jackson' ex-housekeepers, tried to sell their story to the tabloids with the help of broker Paul Barresi, a former porn star. They asked for as much as half a million dollars but wound up selling an interview to The Globe of Britain for $15,000. The Quindoys, a Filipino couple who had worked at Neverland, followed. When their asking price was $100,000, they said " 'the hand was outside the kid's pants,' " Barresi told a producer of Frontline, a PBS program. "As soon as their price went up to $500,000, the hand went inside the pants. So come on." The L.A. district attorney's office eventually concluded that both couples were useless as witnesses.

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Paul Barresi Info

Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:24 am

The Real Source Part 1: Secrets Of The Tabloids

A CBS 2 Special Assignment with Drew Griffin

Aired Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 5 p.m.

Feb 12, 2004 5:05 pm US/Pacific
LOS ANGELES (KCBS) CBS 2 News investigative reporter Drew Griffin obtained audio tapes that were secretly recorded for years inside a tabloid's LA offices. What's on these tapes are the actual sources, the neighbors, friends, hospital workers, even the names of the attorneys and press agents, who secretly have been feeding the tabloids and being paid for it.

This is the first of a series of reports, allowing you to listen in, for the first time, to the real sources behind the tabloid headlines.

Phone rings:
Man: "Yeah, Joan just called me about the Eddie Murphy stuff."
Jim: "The transvestite, yeah."

Phone rings:
Jim: "We just got a lead, just walked in my door. Dinah Shore has cancer."

Jim: "Cliff’s got somebody who’s gonna say lots of nasty stuff about Roseanne."

The names you know.
The stories you may have read about.

Anthony Pellicano: "This broad that’s after Claude Van Damme.
Cliff Dunn: "The chick that set him up in New Orleans?"
Pellicano: "Yes, I need all you can give me on her."

But never before have you heard just how rumors, thefts and downright lies have made their way from these secret conversations to very public and damaging headlines.

Jim: "The Star's running a story on Whoopie."

This CBS 2 Special Assignment begins to expose the true dirty laundry in tabloid journalism.

Jim: "Tori Spelling. Bonnie’s got a source who is dating Tori's best friend and wants to negotiate."

Hours and hours of secretly recorded audio taped conversations, which will detail the messy business of how anyone and any secret is for sale.

Ed: "Hi Jim, my name is Ed and I work in a local hospital here."
Jim: "Are you at Cedars?"
Ed: "Yes."
Jim: "Uh, we are very interested in having a contact in Cedars."

Jim: "Now Magic Johnson, we’re back on line with that tell all."
Man: "Oh you are?"
Jim: "Yes. She worked for Magic in some capacity."
Man: "The previous agreement was how much?"
Jim: "20-grand."

They are the voices of nurses, doctors, hospital technicians, even celebrity lawyers and people paid to protect them, dishing up the dirt, for a price.

Janice: "Oh and I got the dirt on his band member, the guy who plays the guitar..."
Jim: "Uh huh."
Janice: ... "is bisexual."
Jim: "What kind of figure do you have in your head? Janice."
Janice: "This is worth a lot I think."
Jim: "Ten grand?"
Janice: "Maybe more than that."

The tapes were secretly made Jim Mitteager -- for years a reporter for The National Enquirer and the Globe tabloids.

And for those years, he spent a career digging up dirt and recording how he did it.

Jim Mitteager/1996: "There are some things I just would not do."

When I first met Jim, he had just been diagnosed with cancer. It was May of 1996.

His career in the tabloids was over. And from his rural New York home, he began to reveal the secrets, the lies and even crimes he and his company used to fill the headlines week after week.

Mitteager: "I’m not saying I have clean hands, I’m not trying to tell you I’m a good guy. I've done stuff I shouldn’t have done."

One year after this interview, Jim Mitteager died. But the story he began to tell that day lives on in these secret tapes, tapes that seven years after his death began arriving at the home of his friend and former tabloid confidant, Paul Barresi.

Barresi: "He indicated to the person who gave them to me that I would know what to do with them."

Baressi has decided to make them public. And for the first time reveal how the tabloids get their stories.

Barresi: "he doctor, the lawyer, the manager, the agent, the nurse, even admissions clerks at the hospital all came forward with information."

Man: "Burgess Meredith has got increased atrophy of the brain."
Jim: "OK."

They came forward because they were all being paid.

Man: "How much can I get for a picture of Liz Taylor in the bed in the hospital?"
Jim: "I think you could get five figures for it easy, easy."

In the days and weeks to come, CBS 2 will play these tapes, and let you listen to the inside secrets.

Man: "I’m working at a local hospital here and we got a couple of people come in…."
Jim: "Big names?"

The most shocking tape may be the one you are about to hear.

Jan. 16, 1994. It is between two Globe reporters, Cliff Dunn and Jim Mitteager, talking with famed Private Eye to the Stars, Anthony Pellicano, about his very own clients.

Pellicano: "What do you want to know on her?"
Jim: "Any story that will make the front page."

On the tape, Pellicano appears to have a long working relationship with the tabloids, planting stories, paying for sources and keeping his clients in and out of the headlines.

Pellicano: "Let me ask you a question on Liz Taylor, you say they are going after her? 'Cause I don’t care what you do with her. As a matter of fact if I can help you with her I will."
Jim: "Well, if you ever get anything on her, call us first will you."
Cliff: "Yea, anything you can find out."
Pellicano: "Let me see what I can do."
Jim: "Yea, but we can’t use you as a source."
Cliff: "I can’t go to the lawyers and say my source is Anthony Pellicano."

Source: ... 00729.html

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Paul Barresi Info

Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:32 am

AUTHOR: Newspaper Nov. 21, 9:30 PM
Arnold, Pellicano and Politics

Arnold Schwarzenegger asked once-celebrated and now-celled private investigator Anthony Pellicano to see what dirt could be unearthed on the actor if he entered the 2002 gubernatorial race, Pellicano’s former legman Paul Barresi tells L.A. Weekly. Less than a week after the 27-page file was turned in, Schwarzenegger opted out of the race, says Barresi, the ex-X-rated film star who maintains he was hired by Pellicano to conduct the background search.

The existence of this still recent self-probe raises the question of why Schwarzenegger would have himself investigated again. Boggles the mind, no? After all, on November 6, Schwarzenegger, then governor-elect, announced he was in the process of hiring what his aide said was a “well-respected” P.I. firm to look into allegations that the bodybuilder-actor groped more than a dozen women over a 30-year period.

So now the Pellicano eavesdropping case taps into politics? This is where things could get ugly.

After all, the FBI seized massive amounts of materials during a search of Pellicano’s Sunset Boulevard office as part of a federal wiretapping probe against the P.I. Much of the media’s focus has been on that huge cache of phone transcripts found on The Pelican’s computer (not to mention the sudden search of former Pellicano client Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch). But little attention has been paid to the many, many confidential files that Pellicano worked up for people on people: friends and foes, clients and targets, Hollywood and civilians, nobodies and even, reportedly, the Clintons.

On the eve of his surrender, Pellicano himself griped to the Los Angeles Times that “The search warrants in my case were overly broad.” He told the newspaper that he was challenging the legality of the raid. Pellicano put it like this: “They came into the grocery store looking for a box of cereal and cleared out the entire store.” His main complaint is that the warrants “opened up all of my confidential files to the scrutiny of people who have no right to review them.”

Who knows where this could lead. Boggles the mind, no?

Consider that in recent days the right wing has been carping on Pellicano’s Clinton connection. Though it bills itself as a “nonpartisan, nonprofit conservative foundation established to serve as an ethical and legal watchdog,” Judicial Watch is best-known for all those wacky lawsuits against Bill Clinton, and for championing Gennifer Flowers. Judicial Watch reminds that Pellicano was brought in as an “audio recording expert” in 1992 to analyze Flowers’ secretly recorded tapes of her conversations with the future president. Pellicano’s verdict was that the tapes had been “selectively edited.” Flowers et al. insist they are authentic.

Another ultraconservative Web site, the notorious, is going so far as to claim that “the accused sleuth’s most famous clients [were] Bill and Hillary Clinton” and that Pellicano figured into the Monica Lewinsky scandal. According to, Pellicano “produced an old boyfriend who helpfully explained to reporters that Monica once boasted she was going to Washington to get her ‘presidential kneepads.’”

Suppose, just suppose, Pellicano had among his files something that would prove damaging to Hillary should she ever run for president. Presumably, in addition to the G-men and the Justice Department, others within the Bush administration might have reason to sift through The Pelican’s droppings. Boggles the mind, no?

A lot of the Hollywood players questioned so far in connection with the FBI investigation of Pellicano have big political ties. There is Bert Fields, who counts among his clients some of the most influential Democrats and Republicans in the media and entertainment business (David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ron Meyer, Rupert Murdoch); Warren Beatty, who considered a 2000 presidential run; and Brad Grey, who had one of the first daughters, Barbara Bush, working as a summer intern in his Hollywood office in 2001.

Now, back to Arnold.

Barresi says he came to P.I. work in a roundabout way: from a career as an adult-film star, to a Playgirl model, to a tabloid stealth talker, to a 10-year stint as Pellicano’s go-to guy. The 54-year-old resident of Rancho Cucamonga describes himself as a “self-styled” investigator because he’s unlicensed. The way he tells it, he first sought out Pellicano about some accusations against Michael Jackson lodged by the singer’s cooks back in the early 1990s. But it wasn’t until April 2001 that Barresi’s relationship with Pellicano was spelled out in a New Times’ article about actor Eddie Murphy’s 1997 transvestite sex scandal. Even so, Hollywood remained largely clueless that Pellicano used Barresi as his right-hand man. But, according to Barresi, Pellicano was so busy that he had to farm out P.I. assignments, and the 2001 Schwarzenegger investigation was one of them.

Under normal circumstances, claims Barresi, Pellicano would not reveal who had hired him. But in this case Pellicano “phrased the assignment in such a way” that there was no doubt Pellicano was working for Schwarzenegger. According to the legman, Schwarzenegger wanted to know what he’d be up against if he decided to run in the 2002 gubernatorial election, or even enter the Republican primary. Barresi says he was told “to look for information that may be of good use to Schwarzenegger’s detractors.”

Barresi recalls he began the investigation in early April 2001 (interestingly, shortly after that shocking Premiere magazine article detailing allegations about Schwarzenegger’s “grab and grope” sexual harassment of women). Barresi last “logged in” on April 19, according to his records. “It was a week after I turned in my report that Schwarzenegger made the announcement he was not going to run,” Pellicano’s aide says. That decision made headlines when, on April 25, 2001, the actor said his film career and family took precedence over any political aspirations and that “I have to be selfless at this point.”

At the time, Barresi emphasizes, it wasn’t his job to reach a conclusion about whether Schwarzenegger should throw in his hat. But the legman says that, if asked, he would have advised against it. “I think that’s a no-brainer,” he tells L.A. Weekly. “Look, my info was all fresh and new, acquired from sources, some reliable, some unreliable.” But Barresi notes that, in a political campaign, the information doesn’t have to be true, just put out there “to create and invent an unfavorable impression.”

Barresi will not divulge the contents of the report in any detail, except to note broadly that it dealt with the personal, professional and business lives of Schwarzenegger, family and associates. According to Barresi, the file was read closely. He recalls one incident he discovered: a bodyguard trying to sell to the highest bidder “a damaging story” about Schwarzenegger. “I mentioned his name to Pellicano, and, all of a sudden, this guy stopped peddling his goods,” Barresi claims.

At press time, Schwarzenegger’s office had not responded to repeated calls for comment.

On Monday, Pellicano surrendered at the Federal Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles to begin serving a 33-month prison sentence for weapons violations (including pipe bombs found in his office safe) during the FBI search. Barresi says the last time he talked to his boss was the day that the judge set Pellicano’s bail. “We warmly embraced,” Barresi recalls.

Barresi maintains he “has no knowledge whatsoever as to Pellicano’s modus operandi in conducting his investigations” and states “not one time did Pellicano ever represent to me that I should ever conduct myself unlawfully in the course of my own investigations.” He says he told all that to the FBI during a questioning session at Georgio’s, an Italian eatery on Ventura Boulevard, that didn’t go at all well.

“They got angry with me,” recalls Barresi. “One of them was like a French poodle and said, ‘I think you’re full of shit!’ And, at the end, they told me that if I didn’t talk to them, then maybe I’d talk to a grand jury. And then they walked out the door.

“It sounded like dialogue from a B-rated crime movie.”

But then, so does everything about this case. Boggles the mind, no?

:nav Source: ... &mMID=1152

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Paul Barresi Info

Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:03 am

New Times LA: Mark Ebner story on Travolta's alleged ex-lover, Paul Barresi

28 Apr 2001

New Times LA
April 26, 2001


On a spring day in 1997, a veteran porn actor, bodybuilder and strong-arm man named Paul Barresi picked up a supermarket tabloid and spotted a 24-karat opportunity.

What caught Barresi's eye was an intriguing story about vice cops stopping actor Eddie Murphy just before 5 a.m. in a West Hollywood neighborhood known for its abundance of transsexual prostitutes. Sitting next to Murphy in the front seat of his Toyota Land Cruiser was a gorgeous, 21-year-old tranny streetwalker from Samoa. "Eddie Murphy's Sick Obsession With Drag Queens!" shrieked the Globe. "H'wood Stunned by Superstar's Secret Double Life as Cops Catch Him With Transsexual Hooker."

The article said a number of transsexuals and drag queens claimed carnal encounters with Murphy dating back to the early 1980s; the star, it said, had "disguised his shameful double life" for years. Drag queen Karen Dior dished that he and Murphy had performed oral sex on each other in the backseat of the actor's limo. A transsexual called Summer St. Cerely opined that Murphy "seems utterly obsessed with men dressed as women and the way [they] live."

Another tranny called Tempest gave a deliciously detailed account of her alleged dalliance with Murphy, saying he was particularly fond of feet and derived audible pleasure from licking her toes. "He was grunting and groaning, enjoying himself," Tempest told the tabloid. She further divulged that Murphy smelled of Drakkar cologne and wore "cream-colored briefs."

Similar stories appeared on the same day, May 20, 1997, in the National Enquirer and the Star. The Enquirer's coverage included an interview with the preoperative transsexual who'd been stopped with Murphy. Atisone Kenneth Seiuli had been trolling for johns, dressed in tight bell-bottoms and a black tank top, when Murphy drove up. After Seiuli got in, she claimed, Murphy placed two $100 bills on her leg and asked if she liked to wear lingerie. ""I said yes," said Seiuli. "He said, "Can I see you in lingerie?' I told him, "Whenever I have the time.' He said, "I'll make the time.'" Murphy also wanted to know what kind of sex Seiuli liked, and she replied that she was "into everything."

The stories in the three tabloids -- which have a combined circulation of more than 4.5 million -- amounted to a PR holocaust for Murphy, making him look like a sexual sicko just as he was trying to jump-start his flagging career with a string of family-oriented movies. The year before, he'd regained star status with The Nutty Professor and was in L.A. making another family-friendly movie, Doctor Doolittle, when the cops pulled him over. The actor's explanation that he was merely doing a good deed by offering what he thought was a lone woman a ride home from a dicey neighborhood became fodder for comics and talk-show hosts across the land. His old colleagues on Saturday Night Live savagely mocked him in a skit titled "Eddie Murphy, Good Samaritan." According to the Enquirer, Murphy got little more sympathy from his wife, Nicole, a beautiful ex-model who had borne his three children. "Eddie, you're dead meat!" she purportedly yelled after learning of his nocturnal jaunt with Seiuli.

But in Hollywood, one man's peccadillo is another man's payday. And Paul Barresi quickly figured out a scheme to cash in on Murphy's humiliation.

Barresi had worked in the porn business long enough to know how easily its denizens could be bought, and he'd dealt with tabloid news outfits enough to know they could be manipulated. After acting in or directing more than 50 porn movies, gay and straight, he was connected enough to know he could find the trannies who'd blabbed to the tabs faster than any private detective.

Barresi's plan was to reach as many of the tale tellers as possible and pay them to change their stories and say they'd lied about having sex with Murphy. The star's lawyers could then mau-mau the tabloids to back off him since the papers' sources, by recanting, would have forfeited what little credibility they'd had to begin with. Barresi was well aware that nothing chills a publisher's blood more than the threat of a libel suit. If any of the trannies were planning to write kiss-and-tell books about Murphy, those projects might be quashed, too.

"My role was pretty much to neutralize [the transsexuals]," says Barresi.

He dialed Murphy's lawyer, Marty "Mad Dog" Singer, a corpulent, pugnacious ex-New Yorker renowned in Hollywood for his brass-knuckles defense of celebrity clients. Barresi got the attorney on the phone and told him: "I've got the wherewithal, everything you need to save Eddie Murphy's ass on this issue."

Singer listened. It's not for nothing that stars like Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey and Sylvester Stallone pay the Century City lawyer $450 an hour to represent them. Singer handles contract disputes and other routine legal spats, but his unofficial specialty is trying to scare off journalists poking into celebrity scandals. By all accounts he's pretty good at it.

Singer immediately went to war against the tabs on Murphy's behalf. Just days after the Globe and Enquirer stories hit print, Singer slapped both papers with $5 million lawsuits, claiming that they'd libeled his client. Murphy denied in the Enquirer suit that he'd engaged in sex with transsexuals or transvestites, adding that the tab stories had so mortified him that he'd required medical attention.

Meanwhile, Singer hired Barresi to hunt down the trannies quoted in the tabs.

Barresi performed well beyond expectations. He quickly located several trannies, offered them payoffs to reverse their stories and coached them to give false testimony. He personally squired two of them to Singer's law office, where they declared under penalty of perjury that they'd lied to the tabs about having sex with Murphy. One tranny walked out with checks totaling $15,000.

The game plan was to stamp out the Eddie-loves-trannies stories as fast as possible, and it was working like a charm.

If Damon Runyon had lived in modern Hollywood rather than Depression-era New York, he might have written a short story about Paul Barresi.

Barresi is a classic Tinseltown hustler. Like more than a few actor wannabes, he dreamed of becoming a star but wound up in a genre in which his best performances were delivered without benefit of clothes. Besides making numerous porn movies, he's earned his daily bread as a fitness trainer, debt collector, tabloid gossip broker and self-styled private eye. Now 52, handsome and still buff, he lands occasional bit parts in mainstream TV shows.

Hardened by years in the porn business, Barresi is smoothly cunning and almost cheerfully amoral. He's of Sicilian descent and craves respect the way most people crave oxygen, which is perhaps understandable given his background.

Barresi was raised near Boston in a blue-collar Catholic household, the son of a shipyard welder who didn't hesitate to smack him when he got out of line. Nor did the nuns at the parochial schools he attended. It took him two years to make it out of the seventh grade, leaving him convinced he was stupid. But he's far from that.

He enlisted in the Air Force out of high school and spent six years at various bases in the United States and the Philippines, rising to the rank of sergeant. He was discharged in 1973 at March Air Force Base near Riverside, where he promptly got a job managing a local gym.

Hanging around the elegant Mission Inn in downtown Riverside one day, the good-looking ex-serviceman stumbled across a film crew shooting Wild Party, a 1974 comedy based loosely on the Fatty Arbuckle scandal of the Roaring '20s. Barresi, who'd dreamed since childhood of becoming an actor, was mesmerized. He struck up conversations with actors and stagehands and was soon hired as a gofer.

"I found myself the next day running around town buying Raquel Welch nail polish and artichokes," Barresi recalls.

While on the set, Barresi also met the art director for Playgirl, who wanted him to pose for the popular women's magazine that featured attractive men in soft-core layouts. Barresi agreed and was paired with a young actress named Cassandra Peterson (the future Elvira, Mistress of the Dark) for a pictorial fantasy of lovers in outer space.

That gig opened the door to Barresi's career in dirty movies. A porn producer loved the Playgirl spread and cast Barresi in Coed Fever, in which he pops out of a cake at a sorority party and paddles one of the excited girls. Barresi, who's married and has three children, also acted in or directed a string of gay porn films. Among their titles are Lusty Leathermen ("An all star cast of Sex Soaked Studs") and Black Brigade ("A chocolate-covered, licorice-licked, cocoa-crammed cum-a-thon that spins the Civil War into the 90s"). Between porn jobs, he landed minor parts in TV shows and mainstream movies including Perfect, a 1983 hit about L.A. gym rats picking each other up that starred John Travolta.

By the early '80s, Barresi had launched a parallel career as a fitness trainer, capitalizing on his Hollywood connections to attract such celebrity clients as David Geffen, Joan Rivers, Johnny Carson's wife Alexis and Go-Go's drummer Gina Schock.

But his employers, he says, often wanted the muscular, hard-edged Italian to help them with matters that had nothing to do with pumping up their pecs. He found himself delivering summonses when his bosses sued someone, and collecting money for them from recalcitrant borrowers. He became, he says, a "last-resort guy."

"Some of these high-powered people came to me to solve some of these problems," says Barresi, sitting at a coffeehouse near his Studio City apartment. "The legal way didn't work so they had to resort to desperate measures -- measures that go against...what's considered morally correct or politically correct. And that's where I came in."

In some cases, Barresi admits, he used "strong-arm intimidation," hiring two burly fellow Italians from his gym to stand behind him, goon-like, when he visited a deadbeat's house seeking payment. He insists he turned down some over-the-top requests to seriously terrorize people, including one from a celeb who wanted a foe's Mercedes worked over with a sledgehammer.

Did he ever resort to actual violence? Barresi grins and grows cagey at the question: "You trying to get me arrested? I'm not gonna answer that question. The key to audacity is knowing how far you can go without going too far. And to be perfectly honest with you, I took that to the limit. But not far enough that it would have landed me in prison. I was too good at it. For the most part it was all bluff, it was all show. It was acting!"

Barresi moved sharply higher on the Hollywood notoriety scale in 1990 when the National Enquirer ran a front-page story showcasing his claim that he'd had a two-year love affair with John Travolta.

Barresi told the tabloid he'd met Travolta in 1982 when the actor followed him into the shower room of an L.A. health club. They later had sex "dozens of times," Barresi said. The star, he said, often showed up at his apartment for bedroom calisthenics, implored Barresi to tell him dirty stories over the phone, and told the porn actor he was "sexier and more macho than Burt Reynolds and Clark Gable combined." Barresi said he'd gone to bed with other celebrities, too. "From time to time I've let them use me in hopes of furthering my acting career," he said.

But several months later Barresi retracted his story, saying in a letter to Travolta's attorney that he'd never engaged in "homosexual activity" with Travolta. Barresi said in subsequent interviews that his life had been turned upside down when copies of the Enquirer piece were sent anonymously to his parents, brothers and fitness clients. At one point, Barresi blamed the Church of Scientology, of which Travolta has long been a high-profile member, for the mailings.

In the early '90s, Barresi's career morphed again, as he became an unlicensed private eye and a retailer of tabloid news.

In 1994, he got involved in the Michael Jackson child-molestation scandal when he was approached by two of Jackson's servants who claimed they'd seen the performer rubbing a young boy's thighs in an "inappropriate way." The couple wanted Barresi's help in selling their story to the tabloids, and Barresi says he obtained a $150,000 offer from the Enquirer. He was to receive a 10 percent commission. But the servants, Barresi says, screwed him by hiring a Beverly Hills lawyer who promised he could get them much more tabloid cash, as well as book and movie deals.

Angry at being cut out of the action, Barresi decided to sell the couple's story without them.

He taped them several times as they related their tale of supposed celebrity perversion. Two of the tapes were made surreptitiously, with Barresi slipping a recorder into his pocket before joining the Jackson hirelings at their lawyer's office.

But with each retelling, Barresi says, the details of the alleged molestation grew more lurid. "Every time they told the story, they would add a little more," he says. "[Jackson's] hand went from outside the kid's pants to inside the kid's pants. It was outside the kid's pants when they were offered fifty grand, and inside the kid's pants when they were offered a hundred thousand."

Most journalists would shy away from basing a news story on taped voices that couldn't be positively identified. But the tabs were in frenzied pursuit of Jacko, and Barresi figured out a clever way to assuage any qualms they might have about the recordings.

He called the Globe and said he was going to present the tapes as evidence to the L.A. County district attorney's office. Did the paper want copies? Did it want to assign a reporter to accompany him downtown when he delivered the tapes? It sure as hell did.

On the day the Globe story came out, Barresi met again with the servants and their lawyer, his recorder again whirring quietly in his pocket. The woman retainer angrily confronted him, demanding to know if he was the source of the Globe story.

Barresi smoothly lied through his teeth.

"I already got fifteen grand in my pocket from [selling the story], but I say, "Of course not,'" he recalls happily. "The attorney jumps in, [saying] "Of course not, he wouldn't be sitting here right now if he did.' And I'm so calm. I'm just sitting there. I go, "Search me.' And I had the recorder going."

Meanwhile, Barresi contacted noted Beverly Hills private investigator Anthony Pellicano, who was working for Jackson to try to quash the scandal. Barresi told Pellicano about the tapes, saying they contained inconsistencies that would help undercut the servants' allegations.

"It was great because after that I took all the information to Pellicano and just discredited the shit outta them. They didn't make a dime."

Working both sides of the street proved highly lucrative for Barresi. By first spreading ugly rumors about Jackson and then casting doubt on them, he pocketed nearly $60,000. He got a sweet bonus, too: revenge on two people who'd dissed him.

"It's very simple," says the Sicilian welder's son. "If someone's not gonna give me respect, I'm not gonna respect them. If someone ****s with me, I'm gonna **** with them."

It didn't take Paul Barresi long to find the transsexual ex-dominatrix who once went by the handle of Carnal Candy.

Carnal had made herself a major player in the Murphy/she-males scandal. A sort of den mother to local transsexuals, she'd been incensed when Murphy claimed he didn't know that Atisone Seiuli, the tranny hooker he'd been stopped with, was actually a tranny hooker. Carnal's girlfriends had been telling her of their alleged liaisons with the actor for years. She'd heard so many such anecdotes, in fact, that she was writing a book, In the Closet With Eddie Murphy, which she later published online.

These days Carnal goes by the name Candace Watkins and lives in a small, dingy house in Altadena with three enormous black royal standard poodles. She's articulate and shrewd, if not altogether convincing, with her broad shoulders and six-foot-plus height, as a feminine specimen. After running away from home at 16, she became a prostitute on the streets of Chicago. She later moved to New Orleans, where she tended bar, worked as a stripper, turned tricks and had an oil-field roustabout as a boyfriend. In the early '80s she relocated to L.A. and got involved in blue movies, rising to underground stardom as a transsexual dominatrix, then a new porn genre. In 1983, she underwent surgery to make her, as she puts it, "a complete woman."

Following Murphy's little spin with Seiuli, Candace put several transsexual friends -- including Tempest, who'd described the actor's cologne, underwear, and toe-licking habits in such engaging detail -- in touch with the Globe. Candace got dolled up as a streetwalker and, she says, posed for two staged photos that accompanied the Globe piece. The tab paid Tempest $1,500, which she split with Candace.

Candace also made introductions for Sylvia Holland, a black transsexual porn actress ("I look like Diahann Carroll") who claimed to have trysted with Murphy. Holland subsequently surfaced in the Enquirer story, in which she "boasted of two sex encounters with the star -- once in an alley, and the second time in his car."

Through his porn-biz connections, Barresi soon located Candace at the North Hollywood apartment building where she then lived. She had moved there to be close to another tranny pal, Valerie Gale, who also claimed her share of frolics with Murphy. Candace was in the process of interviewing Valerie for her e-book about Murphy. Valerie was seriously ill with HIV and, according to Candace, a bit flighty, and Candace wanted easy access to her. The two girlfriends were together in Valerie's apartment when Barresi called.

His objective was simple and nefarious: to pay the trannies to reverse their stories and swear Murphy had never had sex with them or any other transsexuals. The actor's lawyer, Marty Singer, was evidently cranking up for a courtroom showdown with the Enquirer and the Globe, and the stakes for both sides were high. Sworn statements from the trannies saying they'd lied about Murphy would give Singer the legal equivalent of a B-52 bomber in his battle with the tabs. "If he had affidavits from the people who were our sources, at first blush you'd have to say we have a truth problem," says one tab lawyer, who asked not to be identified. "You'd have to worry about how could it be that these people told our reporters "x' when they've just sworn "not x,' unless they're talking out of both sides of their mouth." With their sources' credibility shot, the tabs might have to run up a white flag, paying Murphy big bucks to make the libel suits go away and even pledging to write no more stories about him and trannies.

Perhaps more important, no other media outlets would ever believe the trannies again, and the Murphy/kinky sex scandal would come to a screeching halt. Barresi fully understood all this. "I think that was [Murphy's lawyers'] goal, to just simply discredit them," he says. Although the actor had already taken a serious PR hit, his camp wanted to "make sure there would be no further damage," says Barresi.

Barresi began what he describes as "a gradual courting process" of Candace in mid-July 1997. "I knew she had a powerful influence over the others," he says. "She's like the queen bee. If she wanted them to jump, they would say, "How high?' She's the leader; she had the strength. She was more intelligent than the rest. She was their protector, their guardian, their adviser. But the irony here is that she always had her own interests at heart."

After a couple of phone conversations, Barresi visited Candace at her apartment and began laying on the sweet talk -- and the money.

He told her he'd seen her movies and praised her as an "absolute star." "I remember this line," he says. "This is a good one; you should use it sometime. I said, "Candace, you're younger and more beautiful than you've ever been.' I got her guard down."

Barresi moved cautiously. He was too slick to bluntly offer Candace and Valerie bribes right out of the box. Instead, he suggested ways they could rationalize lying, or at least make their recantations sound plausible.


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Paul Barresi Info

Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:06 am

...The tabloids, he said, were infamous for embellishing stories; maybe that had happened in Murphy's case. But the two trannies, he says, insisted that what the tabs printed was true. Then Barresi took another tack, trying to appeal to their sense of decency. Murphy's career and marriage, he said, could be ruined by the stories the trannies were telling. But that approach didn't work, either.

Finally, Barresi got to his bottom line. ""In the same way that the tabloids were able to offer you money for your story, I am in a position to offer you money,'" he told them. How much? asked Candace. As soon as he heard that, says Barresi, "I knew I had her."

Barresi freely admits offering the trannies money to lie under penalty of perjury.

"Sure it was a payoff," he says. "I was very, very direct with [Candace]. I don't know if we used the word payoff, but I know it was about her being paid to change her story around."

They quickly arrived at a price, in five figures. But when Barresi phoned Singer for approval, he says, the attorney "went through the roof," saying, "I'm not gonna give those things that kind of money!" Barresi went back and bargained for lower fees, and the deal was on.

Barresi promptly began coaching Candace and Valerie on how best to lie when they were interviewed by Murphy's lawyers. The investigator worked from a list of questions he drafted himself.

"I said, "OK, let's do a practice run," he recalls. ""Let's talk a little bit about the tabloids. Who interviewed you for the tabloids?' They said the [reporter's] name -- Blackman, I think his name was. I said, "Did at any time you feel that Blackman was pressuring you to embellish your story?' "Yes.' "Were you told that unless you exaggerated your story that there wouldn't be a story?' "Yes'... And then I just flat out said, "Did you just sell this story to the tabloids for the money?' "Yes.' "So you never did have sex with Eddie Murphy, did you?' "No. Never.'"

Barresi says he typed up his questions and the trannies' answers and sent the transcript to Brian G. Wolf, one of Singer's partners. Barresi also claims he sent Wolf a memo indicating that Sylvia Holland was willing to change her story and outlining what she would say.

Barresi says he never told Singer or Wolf he was coaching the trannies to lie, nor did the attorneys ever order him to obtain perjured testimony. Indeed, Barresi says, Singer specifically told him to "get the truth." Barresi says he ignored that admonition because "I understood what [the attorneys] wanted to hear."

"I never used the words "look, Marty, if we pay her this hush money, she'll lie and change her story,'" says Barresi. "I never had that kind of dialogue with the attorneys... What I presented to the attorneys I always presented as truthful and legit. And what I discussed with Candace was completely the opposite."

On July 17, Barresi drove Candace and Valerie to Singer's office, where, in signed declarations, they took back everything they'd told the tabs.

Candace wrote that she'd referred Valerie and Tempest to the Enquirer purely for money; that the two other trannies had lied about having sex with Murphy, also for money; and that an Enquirer reporter had "coached and intimidated" them to make false statements. "I have never met Eddie Murphy, nor do I know anyone who has had sex with Eddie Murphy," Candace declared in her statement.

Despite the coup of obtaining Candace and Valerie's recantations, Singer couldn't wait for the two trannies to leave, Barresi says. "Singer was thoroughly disgusted, felt like creepy crawlers were going up his neck," recalls Barresi. "I could tell he was very shaken and disturbed. Just being in their presence repulsed him. And he conveyed that to me outside the office: "Just get this over with, get them outta here!'"

For her efforts, Candace was paid $15,000 by Singer's firm, according to an IRS document she provided to New Times. Valerie says she was paid $5,000. Sylvia Holland, who gave Barresi a videotaped statement at her West Hollywood apartment denying any sexual relationship with Murphy, says she received $2,500.

Asked about Barresi's tactics, Singer initially insisted that "Paul Barresi has in no way been employed by our firm." Told later that Barresi provided New Times with pay stubs indicating he received at least $3,451 from Singer's firm for work on the "Murphy/Enquirer" account, the attorney conceded that Barresi had been retained as an "investigator."

Singer also acknowledges hiring Barresi despite knowing of the porn actor's deceitfulness in the Travolta case, which was handled by Singer's firm.

Indeed, Barresi lied in his first phone contact with Singer, giving him a phony name. He did so because he feared Singer might recognize his real name and not hire him since the attorney's firm had represented Travolta at the time Barresi disavowed his story of having been the star's lover. Barresi eventually came clean about his true identity. "He did discuss with me the Travolta issue," says Singer. "He says, you know, "I'm sorry, I never should have done that.'"

Citing lawyer-client privilege, Singer at first declined to say if Candace Watkins or any other transvestites were paid by his firm. He also suggested that Watkins' IRS document might have been forged. But to help insure that it wasn't, New Times asked Watkins to request a fresh copy from the government and then dispatched a reporter to witness her opening the envelope when it arrived at her home. Pressed further, Singer acknowledged that Candace had been employed by his firm as a "consultant" to help Barresi find the other trannies who'd been interviewed by the tabs.

Singer declines to discuss whether his firm paid Valerie Gale or Sylvia Holland. But Barresi confirms he delivered $5,000 and $2,500, respectively, to them.

Sylvia says she knew the money was intended as a bribe but took it anyway.

"I needed the money," she says. "When someone offers you $2,500 to say you don't know someone, you just think about the money."

Singer says neither he nor his partner, Wolf, knew that Barresi was soliciting the trannies to lie for money, or that they were doing so.

"If they committed perjury and he knew it, we certainly had no knowledge of it," says Singer. "If I had known that Barresi wanted to suborn perjury or get false statements, I would never have used him."

Perjury (knowingly making false statements under oath) and suborning perjury are federal crimes punishable by fines and up to five years in prison.

But Candace says she has no qualms about having lied under penalty of perjury.

"We were telling lies because they were giving me $15,000," she says. "I never had that much money together at one time... After discussing it with my mother, she says, "Why did you take the money?' I said, "They were stupid enough to give it to me.' That was my attitude. I've had bad breaks in life because of being born transgender. I can do a lot with $15,000, especially when I'm running a personal ad for $60 for a half-hour massage, and trying not to contact [sic] AIDS."

Of Singer and his associates she adds: "Honey, they were hungrier than a bunch of Hollywood whores lookin' for a trick. When I walked out of that room I thought, "Woo, they go to school to do this?'"

Donald Tripp was dead, but that didn't stop Paul Barresi from capitalizing on the gay thief and con man's life.

Tripp had made his living stealing designer-label clothes and selling them for a fraction of their retail worth. Barresi had once bought a $1,000 suit from him for $100. "I didn't ask him where he got it," says Barresi, "even though I had an idea where he got it."

Besides sticky fingers, Tripp had another interesting physical asset: He was a dead ringer for Eddie Murphy. For years, he used his striking resemblance to cadge free drinks, restaurant meals, concert tickets and even sex from gullible Murphy fans from L.A. to New York. "He had doormen [and] bouncers let him in clubs, he had people buy him drinks, he was running all over New York," Barresi recalls.

Barresi realized he could use Tripp to create a cover story that would make the trannies' abrupt denials of their relationships with Murphy seem less suspicious. They may have thought they were having sex with the Beverly Hills Cop star, but they were actually doing it with Tripp. Conveniently, the impostor had lived in West Hollywood and frequented nearby drag clubs. It was the perfect explanation of why the trannies gave such dramatically different stories to the tabs and to Singer. It was also an excellent way for Barresi to keep working for Singer, and billing his law firm $75 an hour.

"Hey, my wheels were turnin'," says Barresi. "I thought of all kinds of different angles... I tried to keep my position with [Singer] alive as long as I could."

There was just one fly in the ointment: Tripp had died of AIDS a number of years before the tranny scandal erupted. He thus couldn't be bribed to say it was he, not Murphy, who'd had all those tranny flings. But Barresi figured a way around that problem, too.

He lined up a young gay man named James who'd hung out with Tripp. James, too, was a petty criminal, who, among other things, wrote bad checks. He could attest that he'd been with Tripp when the impostor picked up trannies for sex.

Trouble was, James was too young to have gone to clubs and otherwise served as Tripp's high-life sidekick during the early to mid-'80s, when some of the trannies claimed they'd been with Murphy. James had been in grade school during that critical period.

That didn't faze Barresi. He simply didn't tell Singer that Tripp was dead, and lied to his partner Brian Wolf about James' age. James marched into Singer's office, back-dated his association with Tripp in a sworn statement and was paid $3,000, says Barresi.

"The foundation of [James'] deposition was false," Barresi acknowledges. (Singer says he doesn't recall "anything about a guy named James.")

The impostor story came in handy when the trannies gave their statements to Singer. Candace swore with "absolute certainty" that she'd had sex not with Murphy but with "a well-known impersonator and Eddie Murphy look-alike who frequented transsexual clubs in the Hollywood area," according to her declaration. (This even though she'd never claimed to have trysted with Murphy herself; she said friends had.)

Valerie Gale lied similarly. "They paid us to say it was an Eddie Murphy impostor," she says. Asked if her sex partner might actually have been Tripp, Valerie adds: "Oh, please. I dated the man three different times. I don't date impostors, honey. The first time he came up, alone, [he] was in a cream-colored Rolls. I dropped the keys down to him and he came up to our apartment, and we got busy. It was definitely Eddie Murphy."

But as Barresi continued down his list of talkative gender benders, he began running into people who wouldn't accept payoffs.

One was Atisone Seiuli, the Samoan transsexual the cops had stopped with Murphy.

Atisone went by the street name of Shalimar ("After the perfume -- it's so sweet," she told the Enquirer) and performed at local drag clubs, sometimes as a dominatrix nun complete with chains and snakes. She told friends of schmoozing with Charlie Sheen, Demi Moore and other film stars who came to see her, and boasted that she'd someday be bigger than drag sensation RuPaul.

Atisone had made herself a prime target for Barresi by giving an interview to the Enquirer following the police stop. "Eddie's claim he was just giving me a lift makes me laugh!" the tab quoted her as saying. "I'm a transsexual hooker and he knew that!" Barresi says Singer wanted a sworn denial from Atisone because she was thinking about writing a book on her encounter with Murphy. (Singer says he can't recall if he sought Atisone's denial.)

At Barresi's urging, Candace contacted Atisone and passed along his offer to pay her if she'd switch her story. But Atisone wanted nothing to do with Murphy or his money, Candace says. "After I told her that they wanted to talk, she said no," recalls Candace. "She was afraid to talk to him. She wanted to just drop him. They wanted to give her $10,000 to never talk about it again." Barresi confirms Candace's account.

Barresi then approached Karen Dior, the drag queen whose given name is Geoff Gann.

Gann grew up in a Missouri farm town, where he learned the art of makeup by peddling Mary Kay cosmetics as a high school senior. The farm wives he doted on loved him, and he earned $100 an hour lugging his wares around town in a distinctive pink case.

His father, a Republican state legislator, was horrified. "He said, "Can't you at least have brown cases, instead of the pink ones?'" recalls Gann, laughing. "My parents said, "What are we gonna tell our friends?' I said, "Tell your friends that I'm making more money than you are.'"

At 21, Gann moved to L.A., got a job at a Beverly Hills beauty salon and began performing in drag shows at a West Hollywood bar. A fellow drag queen was also a porn director, and Gann soon found himself acting in bisexual and transsexual videos. (His first role was in a flick titled Sharon and Karen.) He's also appeared in numerous TV commercials and shows, including an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess, in which he plants a long, soulful kiss on Lucy Lawless. The scene caused a brief stir in fanzines and the tabs since Gann has AIDS.

In drag Gann makes a very convincing woman, and the Globe ran a fetching photo of him on its cover on May 20, 1997, alongside the headline "Eddie Murphy's Drag Queens Tell All." In the accompanying story, Gann claimed a 1990 assignation with the star in his limo. "I asked Eddie what he liked," Gann told the tab. "He said: "I'm straight, but I like girls like you.' And I said: "Well, girls like me are boys.'"

At the Globe's insistence Gann took a lie-detector test, which he passed, according to a copy of the examiner's report obtained by New Times. "I have this annoying habit of telling the truth," says Gann, 33, sitting in his West Hollywood apartment. "And I guess I'm still kind of naive. I didn't really think it would be a big deal."

It was a big deal, however, to Marty Singer, who swiftly named Gann a co-defendant in his $5 million libel suit against the Globe. That scared the bejesus out of Gann, who was very ill at the time. "I was spending a lot of money on medicine and doctors' visits," he says. "I'd had AIDS since 1995. So at times I'd been really well and at times I'd been really sick. He's suing me for $5 million, and really all he could hope to get from me would be my dresses and the rest of my T cells."

Barresi was acquainted with Gann from the porn business and phoned the drag queen under the pretext of helping him broker his Murphy story to a tabloid TV news show. Barresi eventually revealed he was working for Murphy's lawyers and asked if Gann was willing to recant for money. Gann was, says Barresi, but insisted on $100,000 -- a fee Barresi knew Singer would never agree to.

Gann tells a different story.

He's known Barresi since the early '90s. "He was known in the gay porn industry as being kind of...unpredictable," says Gann. "He would get mad at the models and scream at them and throw the camera at them. He saw a picture of me somewhere in drag and started calling me up and wanted me to go on a date with him or have sex with him. And I'm like, "Well, thanks but no.'"

Gann says Barresi first offered to pay him to simply shut up about Murphy, which Gann was more than willing to do. "I said, "You know what? He doesn't have to pay me. I have no desire to talk about it anymore.' Anytime anybody writes anything about me, it starts out with, "Karen Dior, the drag queen that slept with Eddie Murphy...' Then it goes on to say whatever the story is. I'm tired of hearing it. I'm almost as sick of it as he is, probably."

But later, says Gann, Barresi insisted he sign a statement saying he'd lied to the Globe. Gann refused. "I looked deep within myself and I said, "You know, I just can't do that, because it's not true,'" he says.

Gann says Barresi then tried to pressure him by claiming Murphy's camp had hired a private eye to spy on him. The investigator supposedly learned Gann was turning tricks and found evidence of illegal drug use while sifting through his trash. "And I'm like, "Well, if they're watching me, then they know that the only drugs in my garbage would be my AIDS drugs bottles that I'm throwing out,'" Gann says he retorted.

Barresi denies saying a P.I. was watching Gann, but admits making a veiled threat that the drag queen "was walking on thin ice because of all of the skeletons in his closet." Such skeletons, Barresi added, could easily be dug up by an investigator -- and badly damage Gann's lucrative acting career.

Gann, however, stuck to his story.

Stung by the horrendous publicity from his tranny pickup, Eddie Murphy launched a charm offensive in the media.

At the time the scandal blew up, the actor had been trying to revive a career that had stalled in the early '90s. Following his rise to fame as a Saturday Night Live regular in the early '80s, he moved on to movies, becoming one of the world's biggest stars with hits like 48 Hrs. and Beverly Hills Cop. Later flicks, such as Metro, bombed.

In 1996, Murphy's prospects improved noticeably with the success of The Nutty Professor. By the time of the Seiuli scandal, he was in the midst of a remake of the children's classic Dr. Doolittle, which earned him a reported $17 million. Murphy had a very big incentive to make sure Middle America didn't conclude he was some kind of wife-ditching night crawler with a taste for freaky sex.

Soon after the Seiuli business hit the newspapers, Murphy gave a lengthy interview to People magazine, claiming: "This is an act of kindness that got turned into a f--king horror show." His wife and children were visiting her parents in Sacramento on the night in question, he said, and he'd been unable to sleep. In the course of looking for something to read at an all-night newsstand, he spotted Seiuli and -- not knowing she was arguably a he -- offered a ride home. Murphy said he often drove around at night when he felt restless, sometimes handing out wads of cash to hookers and street people.

Murphy also appeared on TV's Entertainment Tonight, saying he was embarrassed by the whole mess and denying he'd picked up Seiuli for sex. "I love my wife and I'm not gay," he said. "If I was soliciting, I would have picked this girl up and pulled over to some dark corner or dark alley and did whatever I was going to do." He ended by pledging to "never, ever, ever" play good Samaritan again.

Meanwhile, Singer's multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the tabloids had been widely reported in the mainstream media. But only a few months after filing them, the attorney quietly dropped the suits. Murphy publicist Arnold Robinson said in August 1997 that the Enquirer suit was withdrawn because the paper "did not publish its article about Mr. Murphy with malice and recklessness" -- legal elements that must be proved for a libel action to succeed in court.

What Robinson didn't say was that Murphy had not only dropped his suit against the Enquirer, but had agreed, after secret negotiations, to pay the tab's legal fees -- an extremely rare concession in such circumstances. "You can't win bigger than that when you're defending against a lawsuit," crows Enquirer attorney Gerson Zweifach, of the influential Williams and Connolly law firm in Washington, D.C. "To have the other guy agree to go away and pay your fees -- it's a happy day in the tabloid wars!" Zweifach refuses to say how much Murphy paid or to reveal other details of the confidential out-of-court settlement.

Singer dropped his suit against the Globe so quickly that the paper didn't have time to file a response in court, one of its attorneys says. Gann, a defendant in that suit, never even received an official notice that he was being sued. And two tabloid lawyers say Singer never threatened to use the trannies' false declarations against them in court.

What in the name of Axel Foley was going on here?

Only about 1 percent of all lawsuits are settled with the plaintiff paying the defendant's legal costs, according to USC law professor Daniel Klerman, an expert in civil procedure. "Usually in the settlement of lawsuits, money flows from the defendant to the plaintiff," he says. Singer's cancellation of the suits, adds Klerman, "suggests that Eddie Murphy realized somewhere along the way that [the lawsuits were] harming him more than helping him."

Loyola Law School professor Lawrence Solum agrees and suggests two possible explanations for why Murphy backed off.

One is that the libel suits may have been frivolous -- that is, that the actor knew he couldn't prove his allegations against the tabs. Murphy could have faced hefty financial penalties for filing such a suit, says Solum. (Singer vehemently denies that the suits were meritless.) The other possibility is that the actor worried that the tabs had more trannies lined up to testify against him or some other ammunition to use if his case actually went to trial. (Indeed, Murphy's suit against the Globe contains the intriguing statement that he "has not paid for sex with transsexuals for more than ten years" -- implying he might have trouble warding off allegations that he'd done so prior to that.) And a trial, of course, would have triggered more gleeful tabloid coverage -- not to mention stories in the mainstream press -- and kept the scandal alive that much longer.

Singer refuses to discuss his motives for withdrawing the lawsuits, saying only: "We made resolutions that were satisfactory to my client." Although Murphy flack Robinson claimed the Enquirer suit was dropped because the tab hadn't published its Murphy story recklessly, Singer says the trannies' declarations demonstrated exactly the opposite. Their about-faces, he says, proved they would say anything for money and therefore were unreliable sources. And for both tabs to have relied on them in printing their Murphy stories indicates a high degree of recklessness. "When we interviewed these transvestites, reliability is not one of their strong suits," the lawyer says. "You give them a sandwich, they'll tell you anything. You don't have to give them $5,000; you can give them lunch."

But several tab sources say they believe the lawsuits were merely a PR tactic to help Singer knock down the tranny scandal as quickly as possible.

"If an embarrassing story were published about someone, and that someone didn't want the public to believe it, a good way to defuse the situation is to file a lawsuit, get a lot of publicity about the lawsuit on TV, so that everyone says, "Oh, that story's not true,' and then dismiss the lawsuit very quickly so that you don't have to defend it," suggests one tabloid attorney, who requested anonymity. "Because it's a good way to have all the tabloid television shows report on your lawsuit and the fact that the story is probably not true."

A former Globe editor insists the libel suits didn't intimidate the paper into shying away from additional articles on Murphy's accusers. "I don't recall that any stories were killed," says the editor, who also requested anonymity.

But neither did the Globe or the other tabs print anything more about the Murphy/tranny imbroglio in 1997. The scandal was, for all practical purposes, over.

Nearly a year after she triggered a media uproar by stepping into Eddie Murphy's Land Cruiser, Atisone Seiuli was found dead on the sidewalk outside her Koreatown apartment.

A collective shiver passed through L.A.'s tranny community. Candace Watkins created a memorial Web site for Atisone, writing that she'd been "pushed out of a window" in her five-story building and was "a victim of foul play." Candace also tipped the Globe, hoping news coverage of Atisone's demise would forestall possible foul play against other trannies -- especially her.

The Globe quickly weighed in with a story headlined "Eddie Murphy Drag Queen Murdered."

It said the Murphy scandal had "shattered" Atisone's life, turning her into a "pathetic paranoid" who feared she was being pursued by hit men. Atisone's brother David told the tab that she grew hysterical at the mere mention of Murphy's name, and had recently traveled to New York and New Orleans under the noms de drag Gina Addison and Linda GoLightly.

Despite the Globe's headline and Candace's assertions, there was exactly zero evidence that Atisone was murdered or that Murphy was in any way involved in her April 22, 1998, death. But that's not to say the circumstances of her demise weren't pretty weird.

Atisone died in a predawn fall from her apartment house on Berendo Street, where she'd been sharing digs with a man then visiting his mother in El Salvador. Her body was found in a pool of blood, clad only in a black bra padded with silicon pouches and a black leather bikini thong. (Both garments, noted an apparently fashion-conscious investigator from the coroner's office, were from Frederick's of Hollywood.) The young tranny struck the pavement with such force that her nasal bone was driven through her skull into her brain.

The coroner's report said a towel was found tied to a railing atop Atisone's building, just above an open window in her fifth-floor unit. The towel ended about two feet short of the window, and fingernail scrape marks trailed eerily down the building's facade. Neighbors reported that Atisone and her roommate sometimes accidentally locked themselves out and entered the apartment by climbing down from the roof on a fire escape and through a living-room window. But the landlord had recently nailed that window shut following a burglary.

On the night of her death, Atisone, who'd worked at a local club until 4 a.m., had left her keys inside the apartment and apparently tried to lower herself to the open window with the towel.

"Supposedly, this had happened before, and what she would do was go up to the roof and climb down to an open window on her balcony, but this time, that window was shut," says LAPD homicide detective Andy Cicoria, who investigated the death. "So she had to try to swing into the other window, by a towel. The distance into the window was a few feet less than the length of the towel, so when she swung down, she missed, and she fell." An autopsy found no drugs or alcohol in Atisone's blood, and the coroner ruled the death an accident.

A memorial service was held at a Hollywood mortuary. "Two grieving transsexuals who called themselves Chocolate and Visa filed past Atison's open casket as soft church hymns filled the air," reported the Globe, using the feminine spelling of her first name. "Visa softly touched Atison's hand and commented how pretty she looked in a simple white gown."

Eddie Murphy, ex-good Samaritan, did not attend.

In the end, Barresi got no respect from Marty Singer and his button-down Century City colleagues. And that made the Sicilian welder's son mad.

He wanted to ride the Singer gravy train as long as possible. But to do so, he needed to cook up another Murphy-related job he could perform. Geoff Gann inadvertently suggested one.

Gann mentioned that a gay friend of his, Frank Sanello, a writer of quickie Hollywood bio books, was working on a Murphy volume that prominently featured his she-male troubles. Barresi decided to snoop on Sanello, provide Singer with sufficient information to launch a legal preemptive strike on Sanello's book, and then sit back and wait for the bonus check to arrive in the mail. But things didn't work out that way.

Barresi resorted to his usual tactics: trickery and lying. He called Sanello, claiming he was looking for a ghostwriter to pen his autobiography, and later visited the author at home, a tape recorder secretly rolling in his pocket. "It was on a pretense. That's my m.o.," says Barresi. "I'll go in on a pretense and get people to talk about stuff."

After flattering Sanello on his looks, Barresi asked him about the Murphy book, which the writer was happy to discuss. He eagerly provided the name of his publisher and even showed Barresi a draft, which began with Gann's tale of mutual oral copulation with Murphy. "He was totally open," says Barresi, grinning. "Boy, I'm good, aren't I?"

Barresi later transcribed his "interview" with Sanello and sent it to Singer's partner Brian Wolf, figuring the attorneys could write Sanello's publisher a threatening letter and perhaps torpedo the book. "I gave them the publisher, I gave them verbatim what the book had to say," says Barresi. "I had everything recorded. I said, "This is so damning I got to put this together and bring it to Wolf.'"

But Wolf, says Barresi, "acted like it was no big deal." The lawyer refused to pay for the Sanello information, but Barresi, miffed, "billed a little bit of it" to Singer's firm anyway. "If that didn't deserve a bonus..." Barresi says, his voice trailing off.

He brooded angrily on why the Century City suits had apparently ended their relationship with him. Had Singer and company thrown him more work, he says, "they certainly would have had my allegiance forever. But in the same way that they demonstrated that they had no respect for me, that's how I felt about them. I gotta tell you, that plays on my emotions. Quite heavily. Because I put myself in harm's way, is really what I did."

And that's why, when a New Times reporter came calling much later, Barresi gladly turned over his records on the Murphy case. The documents included copies of paychecks from Singer's law firm to Barresi, transcripts of his coached "trial run" interviews with the trannies, and memos to Singer and Wolf outlining some of Barresi's activities.

Once again, Barresi exacted revenge on people he felt had screwed him.

"How much risk does a person have to take, how much crow does a person have to eat, before they're gonna win some respect?" he asks rhetorically, reflecting on his handiwork. "I feel that as much as I did for them, they really didn't give me a fair shake. My wife has brought this up many times. She says, "Eddie Murphy is probably completely oblivious as to what you did for him.'"

Barresi adds that he's been reading lately about the great French general Napoleon, who grew up on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, not far from Sicily.

"He would go into the trenches and talk to his men. He would know the officers on a first-name basis. He would know who they all were. He would find out who the most courageous man was in the trenches, and he would take the medals of honor that he was wearing on his breast and he put them on [that soldier's] breast.

"And I'm wondering, once [Eddie Murphy] finds out who I am, if he would do that. I think I already know the answer."

:nav Source:

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Paul Barresi Info

Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:12 am

In another chapter, gay porn star-turned-private dick Paul Barresi was hired to save two celebrities from embarrassing situations, but when members of their professional entourage reneged on their verbal promise to pay him, "Barresi, receiving no compensation whatsoever apart from having his story told, turned his entire file (interview transcripts, memos, and paychecks) on [a celebrity] over to us" (p. 188). But lo and behold, Barresi "has a code of ethics emphasizing loyalty and respect, and he follows it" (p. 169). Such "loyalty and respect" are likely to get potential clients lined up, no doubt.

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Paul Barresi Info

Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:24 am


Will Somebody Wake Up Bill Keller?

Paul Barresi writes Luke 11/15 at 44:45PM: "Punk"

XXXXXX writes: I've been on this Anthony Pellicano-Alex Proctor-Steven Seagal-Jules Nasso-Anita Busch story since June 20, 2002. I've talked to every wacko between here and Brooklyn so many times that I'd pretty much lost interest in the whole stupid mess. But what I saw in today's edition of the NY Times, in a story by-lined by Laura Holson and Bernie Weinraub, just made me fall out of my chair.

Paul Barresi, the most unreliable source in the history of hack journalism, is quoted as a reliable source in the Times story about Anthony Pellicano going to jail today. Luke, I will leave it up to you to describe the reliability of Barresi. I can forgive Bernie for lifting content from your Web site. He was in Vietnam, for crying out loud. Delayed stress syndrome, all right?

But Barresi is actually pegged by Holson/Weinraub as a "private investigator" who alleges he was hired by Pellicano to dig up dirt on Stallone and Schwarzenegger. My god, Barresi's sick relationship with Martin Singer, a longtime press lawyer for Stallone and Schwarzenegger, was exhaustively detailed by Jack Cheevers and Mark Ebner in the prize-winning New Times LA story entitled "The Bagman." If Holson and Weinraub had taken five seconds to Google Barresi, they would have seen he's not a "private investigator," he's a gay porn actor, a shakedown artist, and an all-around nut.

Fact: Singer works for Stallone and Schwarzenegger. Pellicano works for Singer. The idea that Pellicano would hire Barresi to dig up dirt on two of Marty Singer's favorite clients makes no sense. It's just a pathetic attempt by someone to distance Stallone and Schwarzenegger from Singer-Pellicano.

Will somebody wake up Bill Keller, the new executive editor of the NY Times, and tell him there is something very, very wrong with his reporters on this Pellicano story?

Paul Barresi writes 7/20/04: "I got to tell you Luke, it amazes me how cowards like this stupid son of a bitch never identify themselves. In my book, anybody who posts a comment without identifying himself is a coward. If somebody's got something to say to me, he should say it to my face, like a man. Luke: Why give a weak, yello belly man the luxury of hitting and then running with his tail behind his legs? A no name comment is 100% of the time posted by a nobody. And if these no names were not cowering in the shadows, I'd tell them to their face." ... singer.htm
(scroll down to the bottom of the page)

Here's the beginning of what's on that page:

Attack Dogs of LA Law

Journalist Ross Johnson writes for the May 2000 issue of Los Angeles Magazine:

For years, MARTIN D. "MAD DOG" SINGER of Lavely & Singer has been the all-around bad cop for stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Celine Dion, Roseanne and Jim Carrey. "I'll make one call to a publicist to check out a tip," growls New York Post Page Six editor Richard Johnson, "and pretty soon I get a hand-delivered letter from Singer threatening all sorts of disasters and financial damages."

Singer covers the waterfront when it comes to celebrity litigation. If a contractor is too slow to finish the star's Malibu pad, Singer will rip him a new you know what. When basketballer Dennis Rodman was sued recently for allegedly manhandling a cocktail waitress, Singer took up the Worm's defense. (The case was dismissed.) When Stallone's household help in Miami banded together against him in a lawsuit, it was Singer who caught the case--and quickly spun this to the press: The plaintiffs were "hired for six days through a temp agency" and one of them "showed up in high heels to clean the house."

Singer, 48, has impeccable credentials for pit-bull lawyering. His father died when he was 19, and he had to run the family's silk-screen printing factory in Manhattan while attending City College of New York. Graduating from Brooklyn Law School in 1977, his goal was to move to California and practice tax law. But he quickly discovered that L.A. transactional lawyers loved a tough litigator who had no desire to buddy up to clients.

Singer can hold his own in a courtroom--he recently won jury verdicts for Jean Claude Van Damme in a contract dispute and Priscilla Presley when she sued a television producer and publicist who lied about her supposed involvement in a deal they were pitching. But it is Singer's ability to make prying journalists back off that's made him so valuable--he charges $400 an hour--to folks who are sensitive about their private lives.

In February, he took on the National Enquirer after it published a false story that Celine Dion was pregnant. (Singer demanded a page-one retraction. When the Enquirer refused, he threw down a $20 million invasion-of-privacy suit.) Last January, the Globe apologized to Singer client Schwarzenegger after publishing a bogus tale about his so-called defective heart valve. When Willis wanted to stop the Independent Film Channel last year from showing a documentary critical of him, Singer got the IFC to quickly abandon the idea, much to the public consternation of those at the channel unaccustomed to Hollywood-lawyer hardball. And a big reason the public heard so little about Eddie Murphy being stopped with a transvestite hooker in his car by West Hollywood sheriffs was that Singer bulldogged the tabs on the actor's behalf.

Enquirer editor Steve Coz, who shared a dais with Singer when they debated at Harvard's JFK School of Government, deals with him on a weekly basis. "Marty is a heavy hitter, but he's reasonable," claims Coz in a careful tone. "He's one of the few that `gets it'--his clients need the press every bit as much as the press needs his clients."

Don't tell that to journalist John Connolly. An August 1996 Buzz magazine article dissected Singer's rabid attempts to discredit Connolly, who had written a damning piece on actor Steven Seagal for Spy. Singer not only slapped a libel suit on Connolly but also hit him with a slander suit for allegedly making derogatory statements about Seagal while reporting the Spy article. (Both suits were quietly withdrawn a few months after the story ran.)

In his Century City office festooned with photos of his three children, Singer manages a wan smile when reminded of the flap. "That story really made me out to be this mean, ruthless lawyer;" he recalls. "I was surprised how much work I ended up getting from it."


The Press and Steven Seagal

Richard Zoglin (a psuedonym?) writes in the August 1996 issue of Buzz magazine (now defunct):

In December 1994, Steven Seagal did something that Hollywood stars almost never do. He went on TV to respond to a stalker.

That, at least, is how Seagal tried to portray Cheryl Shuman, a Los Angeles optician who was making some startling accusations against him. Shuman had built a successful business supplying eyeglasses for Hollywood movies, among them Seagal's On Deadly Ground - during the 1993 filming of which, Shuman said, she and Seagal had a brief romantic relationship. More than a year later, Shuman publicly charged that Seagal was orchestrating a campaign of anonymous threats and physical attacks against her - in retaliation, she claimed, for an appearance she had made on the tabloid TV show A Current Affair, on which she told of having seen bruises on the face of Seagal's then-wife, actress Kelly LeBrock.

Seagal wasted no time in denying her allegations and then some. "It is, to me, truly horrific that any public figure can be totally devastated [by fabricated charges]," the steely action star said in an interview the syndicated show Extra. The program - produced by Warner Bros., which also produces Seagal's movies - did not interview Shuman. Instead, it showed clips from statements she had made in a videotaped court deposition - clips selected and supplied to Extra by Seagal's attorneys. "If I don't fight her and people like her," Seagal said, "the tabloid press will just keep being able to encourage any wacko from coming out of the woodwork and fabricating anything for money."

Seagal need not have worried. Though his lawyers wound up spending months fighting off the charges of this "wacko," the press paid little attention - even as the story grew wilder than the plot of one of Seagal's films. Shuman claimed, for instance, that two men broke into her apartment one night and injected her with a sedaative that nearly killed her; she told the Beverly Hills police that she recognized one of the assailants as an employee of Seagal's. The police investigated, but refused to comment on what they found.

There were good journalistic reasons to be wary of Shuman's story. Any publication that started looking into it - and many did - found themselves being fed a mountain of discrediting information about Shuman, ranging from her precise Prozac dosage to affidavits from Seagal associates purporting to show that she had been acting crazy on the set of On Deadly Ground. Shuman, increasingly desperate for attention, did not help her cause - at one point reportedly faxing out phony press releases about her case under an assumed name. As a witness to hang a story on, she posed problems.

Still, as a longtime journalist myself, I found the lack of coverage surprising - and not just because I knew Shuman. (My wife interviewed Shuman for Glamor magazine, and stayed in touch with her.) Shuman ran Starry Eyes Optical, a $20-million-a-year company that had been used by virtually every major Hollywood studio. She had designed glasses for the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jodie Foster, and Mel Gibson, and had been profiled in Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. She hardly seemed like a garden-variety Hollywood nut.

The man she was accusing, on the other hand, had a long history of bizarre behavior. A martial-arts expert with no acting experience, Seagal the movie star was essentially invented by his powerful patron (and fellow aikido enthusiast), Michael Ovitz. Just what he did before his path crossed with Ovitz's is hard to pin down. Seagal himself has distorted the facts of his own background many times, hinting at a shady CIA past that seems largely fabricated. A 1993 Spy magazine profile detailed his obsession with secret-agent exploits, his ties to alleged mob figures, his thuggish behavior with women, and even, according to one startling story, his alleged attempt to hire a former CIA agent to perform a contract killing. (Seagal has denied all the charges.)

Whatever the truth, the Shuman case is just one of many potentially damaging stories that Seagal has managed to keep out of the mainstream press. Last summer, a swift preemptive strike from Seagal's attorneys helped kill a major story I worked on at Time that included numerous charges of sexual harassment and sexual assault by women Seagal had worked with. Seagal's lawyers are continuing to malign the reputation of the chief reporter on that story, John Connolly, who also wrote the 1993 Spy profile. Others journalists hav backed off or toned down similarly critical stories about Seagal, either cowed by blistering letters from his attorneysor simply unwilling to devote the time and effort to battle a star with seemingly unlimited funds to wage legal warfare.

Before BUZZ even assigned this article, Seagal attorney David E. Nachman sent the magazine a sharply worded letter that stated: "BUZZ has no good faith basis to proceed with the publication of any article concerning Mr. Seagal written by Mr. Connolly." Nachman then detailed what he called Connolly's "dubious history and motivations."

Seagal himself doesn't talk much to the press anymore. Indeed, Seagal's publicists don't talk much to the press naymore, at least on sensitive matters. A call to PR man Paul Boch of Rogers & Cowan is apt to be returned by Martin Singer, Seagal's chief attorney. Singer, who also represents such macho stars as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, is a prime example of a new Hollywood breed, which one New York attorney calls the "spin lawyer." Essentially an arm of th star's publicity machine, Singer appears to regard his mission as preventing negative stories from reaching print by discrediting sources, calling reporters' motives into question, and generally screaming "Libel!" as loudly and as often as possible.

When called for a comment on this article, Singer behaved in typical fashion, trying to put me on the defensive by accusing me of having a "personal animosity" toward Seagal becaus I was a "close friend" of Cheryl Shuman. Singer later faxed BUZZ a letter in which he claimed to have "received information that Mr. Zoglin previously wrote an article for Time magazine in which Time magazine was sued for libel" - an article that supposedly "refers to certain statements allegedly made by me to Mr. Zoglin." For the record, Shuman is not "close friend" of mine, I have no grudge against Seagal, and the article to which Singer referred does not exist.

Such preemptive strikes are crucially important for Seagal. As a movie star, he faces the same problem any public figure has in pursuing a libel suit after an article has appeared: proving not only that the story was false but that it was written with "malice" or "reckless disregard" of the truth. That's not hte only reason Seagal wants to stay out of court. As a plaintiff in a libel action claiming that his "good name" had been damaged by a story, Seagal would autmoatically be putting his reputation under scrutiny. A libel defendant could bring up virtually any charge against Seagal in an effort to discredit him. Being placed under oath and forced to answer such charges - the very ones he is trying to keep under wraps - is not something Seagal wants to do. The whole game, in other words, is to keep the stories out of print in the first place.

Singer denies that his efforts on Seagal's behalf are anything out of the ordinary. "I have killed a lot more stories for other clients," he claims. His preemptive efforts are intended not to threaten publications but simply to "communicate facts," he insists. "You don't kill stories because it's a celebrity. You kill stories because people make up lies. And when people make up lies and you can prove it, rsponsible newspapers or periodicals don't run them."

One sharp letter from Singer (or attorneys working with him) is often enough to do the trick. Entertainment Weekly began gingerly looking into Shuman's grievances against Seagal in January 1995, but backed off after getting a seven-page missive from Singer attacking Shuman's credibility, pointing out inconsistencies in her story, and warning: "My client will take immediate swift action against your television program" - Entertainment Weekly is, of course, a magazine - "if you recklessly allow Ms. Shuman to publish her false, fabricated and defamatory statements about our client. If you do so, then you will be doing so at your own peril."

That is Marty Singer in a calm mood. Penthouse magazine, which is planning to publish a story by Connolly based on the one that Time did not run, has experienced Singer's less temperate side. In response to a four-page list of questions for Seagal that Connolly submitted in writing to the actor's attorneys, Singer responded with an eight-page paroxysm of outrage that ignored most of the questions and instead mounted a vituperative attack on Connolly and three of his sources. "You are hereby notified," the lawyer concluded, "that Penthouse magazine, and each of the editors and writers and other persons who work on the proposed article, as well as each and every individual acting [in] concert with Penthouse magazine in connection with the article, will be held fully liable and accountable for all damages."

Typsetters, beware! You, too, may have to chip in to compensate Seagal for the twenty-five million dollars Singer claims the actor has been offered for a new movie. If the deal falls through because of the article, Singer warns, the magazine will be liable for the full amount. (If Singer's figure is correct, Seagal has suddenly - and unaccountably - become the highest paid star in Hollywood.)

Seagal's relations with the press have never been very mannerly. In 1991, GQ writer Alan Richman wrote a sardonic cover story that highlighted Seagal's spotty record for accuracy on the details of his life. Seagal responded on The Arsenio Hall Show by calling Richman a "five-foot-two fat little male impersonator." The attack prompted GQ editor Art Cooper to defend his writer in print, pointing out that Richman is a five-foot-nine Vietnam veteran and that Seagal showed up for a photo shoot wearing a hair net and more makeup than Tammy Fay Bakker. "So I ask you," wrote Cooper, "who is calling whom a male impersonator?"

George Rush, a gossip columnist for the New York Daily News, has probably logged more phone time with Marty Singer than any other journalist in the country. Rush was one of the few reporters who pursued the Cheryl Shuman case, publishing several stories about her, as well as other stories critical of Seagal. (Interestingly, most of the writers who have done unfavorable stories on this Hollywood star are based in New York.) Each attempt to get a comment from Seagal was met with a bullying phone response from Singer. "He usually begins by denying whatever you're asking before he even calls his client," Rush says. "He follows that with a lecture about how your career in journalism has gone astray. Then he tells you that you're the only person pursuing the story - that other media have looked into it and decided not to run the story." Rush ran his stories anyway, without repercussion. The only reason he doesn't do more Seagal stories, says Rush, is that there are too many of them: "He's a gossip columnist's dream."

For John Connolly, Seagal has been closer to a nightmare. While still reporting his story for Spy, Connolly, an affable ex-New York City cop who now writes for New York magazine, was slapped with a slander suit. Slander, of course, applies to spoken words, not published material, which is covered by libel. Singer claimed that in the course of reporting his story, Connolly made derogatory statements about Seagal, and was guilty of defamation. As a result, Connolly had to defend himself - and, he says, to endure months of hounding by Singer and private investigators trying to dig up dirt on him. As it happened, Seagal also brought a libel suit against Connolly after the Spy piece appeared. Both suits were quietly withdrawn a few months later. "It was a terrible experience," says Connolly. "It literally eats your life."

But that was not the end of Connolly's battles with Seagal's lawyers. Last year, Time hired him to report a story about women who have made allegations of sexual harassment, sexual attacks, and other misbehavior by Seagal. As soon as the star's team was approached for comment, the blizzard of legal assaults began anew. A Time reporter working on the story was called in to the New York office of Victor Kovner, a prominent First Amendment lawyer and defender of the press in libel cases. In this instance, however, Kovner was acting on Seagal's behalf, passing along material intended to discredit Connolly and squelch Time's story.

Facing a potentially long and debilitating legal battle over a story that was, in the end, deemed not worth the trouble, Time's editors reluctantly decided to kill it.

What does Singer & Co. have on John Connolly? In letters written to Time, BUZZ, and Penthouse, atorneys workingon Seagal's behalf focused mainly on Connolly's legal problems as a stockbroker during the 1980s, charging that he "repeatedly defrauded customers" and was sanctioned by the SEC and other agencies. The letter also charged that Connolly was "fired by Forbes magazine after falsely representing his purported status as a law enforcement officer" and that "as early 1993, [Connolly] admittd that he intended to advance his new career as a 'journalist' by publishing salacious and defamatory articles about high-profile media personalities, specifically including Mr. Seagal, without any regard for the truth or falsity of his writings."

On closer inspection, Singer's accusations are either irrelevant, misleading, or just plain silly. While a broker on Wall Street, Connolly did run into trouble with th SEC, which brought a civil action against him for unauthorized trading. (The case was settled out of court.) Six years later, Connolly got into a messy situation when the company he worked for came under criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office. Connolly served as a government informant and was never charged with any criminal activity. In any event, he contends: "What happened almost fifteen years ago is totally irrelevant to my life as a journalist."

The account of Connolly's "firing" by Forbes is also misleading. In reporting a story on Merv Griffin's alleged mob ties, Connolly was charged with obtaining documents under false pretenses - by the people who were furious that he had obtained them. Connolly flatly denied the allegation; a later investigation by the FBI found the charge baseless, and the incident had nothing to do with his departure from Forbes. Indeed, Forbes journalists continue to praise his reporting.

Connolly's work stands as his best defense. He has reported and written acclaimed stories on Donald Trump, Heidi Fleiss, and assorted New York mob figures, and his work has never been credibly challenged. Singer gets much of his ammunition from a 1990 New York magazine story on Connolly that put his Wall Street problems in the worst possible light. For his part, New York editor-in-chief Kurt Anderson, who later hired Connolly, describes Connolly's reporting as "extraordinary" and says, "I've never had reason to regret publishing of his afterward."

Singer asserts that Connolly is the only journalist he has attacked in such a way, adding, "I have tremendous respect for writers." It's not hard to fathom why Connolly has been singled out for special treatment. Connolly, after all, is the one journalist who can do the most damage to Seagal. More generally, the attacks on Connolly are part of a consistent strategy of ignoring the substance of the charges against Seagal and trying, instead, to discredit sources and reporters, with all the bullying tactics that can be mustered.

"There are two ways to deal with a story in progress," says David Korzenik, a New York First Amendment attorney who represents Connolly and numerous magazines. "One way is the informative approach, which is factual and deals with the issues head-on. The other is the preemptive approach, which is full of threats, indiscriminate denials, and attacks on the writer and all th sources in an effort to prevent publication. That is Singer's approach. It has no credibility. It makes me all the more confident that the facts in the story are true."


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Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:53 am

Unfortunately, few reporters or editors have the energy or resources to withstand the kind of attack that Singer can unleash. Faced with a whole new set of allegations - not about the subject of the story but about the story's reporter and sources - a publication must investigate them, lest it be accused of recklessly disregarding the truth. As a diversionary tactic, this is a great way to wear down journalists. In the end, even if they feel they are on solid ground legally and editorially, most publications decide it simply isn't worth the effort.

As for Cheryl Shuman, we'll probably never know the truth about the alleged threats and attacks on her. In April of last year, soon after she filed a lawsuit against Seagal, police showed up at her Beverly Hills apartment with a search warrant, found a fake ID and other falsified documents and arrested her. Shuman was held for five days in the Sybil Brand County Institute for Women without being arraigned, then released without being charged. Frightened and depressed, her business in ruins, Shuman dropped her suit and stopped talking to the press. Only then, she says, did the threats against her cease.

Still, she wasn't even allowed the dignity of a surrender. Two days after Shuman asked for - and received - a dismissal of her lawsuit, lawyers from Singer's office went to court and convinced a judge to dismiss it with prejudice. (Court officials can't explain why the suit was dismissed twice.) The Hollywood Reporter, which had chronicled Shuman's case mainly by repeating Singer's version of events, reported that her suit had been thrown out and that she had earlier been arrested "on charges that she used Los Angeles district attorney's office stationery to write forged documents." Shuman, of course, was never charged with anything. But then, she doesn't have a publicist.


Journalist John Connolly writes 11/6/02: Luke Ford, I was unaware of your website until this afternoon. Someone directed me to the Anita Busch articles. I'm quite impressed by your work. Very well researched and documented. Continued success. I also agree with your suggestion that the threats to Busch and Zeman originated in the [Steven] Seagal camp. I can assure you that Anita Busch was not the first reporter/journalist to ever be threatened by the "Seagal camp". My sources tell me to expect more arrests and that one of them, not an actor, will be someone very well, known in Hollywood. Stay tuned.

Luke asks: Weren't you threatened with death by the Seagal camp?

John replies 11/7/02: The only threat I received during the Spy story was from Seagal's legal Doberman, Marty Singer. When I refused to stop researching the story, they sued me to attempt to stop publication. They alleged that I had slandered Seagal by asking questions about him. A few months after they filed the suit, they were disabused of that notion and withdrew the suit. Neither Spy, nor myself made any corrections, retractions or settlement to Seagal.

The threat you mentioned happened six years ago. I had been hired by Time magazine to help Richard Zoglin write a feature on Seagal. Just prior to publication, Norman Pearlstein at the urging of Semel and Daly of Warner Bros. spiked the story [Buzz, 8/96 says Time abandoned the story as too much legal trouble for little payoff]. I took it to Penthouse and contemporaneous with the publication of the story I received a threat from the "Seagal Camp". Penthouse, my lawyer and myself took it very, very seriously. Without going into detail, the very same people that Seagal recently testified against were the fine folks involved in the very real threat to my life. I would think that the people involved in the threats against Busch and Zeman, might want to think about running to the authorities with their story before someone else gets there first.

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Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:54 am


Anthony Pellicano Drama

XXX says: When law enforcement tossed Anthony Pellicano's office on Sunset Boulevard and found the illegal grenades, they also found evidence of wire-tapping. That Pellicano had been wire-tapping people on behalf of clients. There's a Grand Jury investigating this. Some prominent Los Angeles entertainment attorneys have been subpoened to appear and they are most uncomfortable about doing so.

Journalist John Connolly is working on a book on Anthony Pellicano called The Bad Detective.

Journalists who've been terrorized by Pellicano include Jeff Wells, Rod Lurie and Stuart Goldman.

Pellicano may be involved with the Max Factor heir (Andrew Luster, 39) who fled in anticipation of going to prison. Proctor told the FBI's informant that he was going to be paid $100,000 to help a criminal defendant flee the country.

There's a connection between Pellicano and Bill Pavlick, the unlicensed private investigator Luster used in his defense - Steven Seagal (as referenced in the March Esquire story on Pellicano). Seagal claimed he was using Pavlick for his investigations rather than Pellicano. That's a set-up.

Pavlick is a fired LAPD officer who drew a psycho pension. He worked as an unlicensed investigator on the OJ Simpson and Phil Spector cases. Pavlick is under investigation by the state of California for unlicensed activities. He's supposed to get a PI's license to do what he does.

I don't think Pellicano will give anyone up unless he's facing 20-years in prison. I expect Pellicano to serve three or four years.

Pellicano is a neurotic angry control freak. His career is over. The feds have wanted him for a long time since he screwed them over the John DeLorean case in 1983.

Marty Singer pits tabloids against each other. He'll kill stories by promising he will get them a better story. ... singer.htm

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Post by whisper » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:54 am


The Scoop On The Chameleon Group, Anthony Pellicano, Anita Busch

Ross Johnson, the last of the truth tellers, writes:

1. Chameleon Group. The snitch that burned Alex Proctor on the Pellicano case initially tried to shake down Jules Nasso's lawyers by giving them the wrong lead about who whacked Anita Busch's car. The snitch was trying to work the feds, Nasso's lawyers, and possibly the LA Times for payment for the information. But the snitch had to sniff out the wanna see factor, so he told the Feds and the mob lawyers that it was a bunch of israeli muscle guys from a security agency that screwed with Busch's car. Nasso's lawyers narrowed the search to Chameleon, which may be a totally legit operation. (their cool web site is for those who want to know what ex-Mossad members do when they move to Hollywood) My sources close to the U.S. attorney's office (whose information I shuttled to you so that you could scoop everybody on the Pellicano story) checked out Chameleon, found out they were not to be messed with, and left it at that.

There was one reporter at Alex Proctor's arraignment: yours truly. I got a tip that Anthony Pellicano's attorney, Don Re, wanted to rep Proctor, and the feds told Re that it was a total conflict of interest. So in walks another mob lawyer, who is there to sniff out if Proctor has any money, like cash money, to get a defense going. Well, Pellicano didn't have a way to get cash to Proctor, so Proctor had to use a federal public defender. Still, Proctor didn't make a deal to rat out Pellicano on the Busch hit. Why? The whole Busch fish caper read great in the papers, but it was a vandalism beef, at the end of the day. Proctor is going to do a little time on a drug beef, and he'll never rat out Pellicano.

How did I know Pellicano was in on the Busch car hit? The mob lawyer gave me the 4-1-1 on Proctor. Proctor has worked for Pellicano for years in Pellicano's wire tapping business. Pellicano and Proctor go back almost twenty years.

Now let's talk about Pellicano's wire tapping business. The only two reporters at Pellicano's first bail hearing was moi and Gina I-forget-her-last-name from Reuters. Who did we see there? Two very well-known lawyers, one a pit bull that's been featured in your column and the other one of Hollywood's toughest divorce lawyers. They ain't there out of the goodness of their heart. The message to Pellicano was this: keep quiet and his extended family will be taken care of while Pellicano does his bit in the pen on the explosives rap resulting from the C-4 and hand grenades that were found in Pellicano's office.

The Hollywood lawyers at Pellicano's bail hearing knew that the feds had found the transcripts of Pellicano's wiretaps done on the behalf of the lawyer's clients.

Don't expect these transcripts to ever become part of the public record, because Pellicano will plead guilty to the illegal wiretapping. It's perfectly legal for lawyers to use information from a p.i. as long as the p.i. doesn't tell them he got the information illegally. The feds may be talking to Bert Fields et al, but nobody's gonna roll on Pellicano because these lawyers are all one step removed (wink-wink) from Pellicano's wiretapping.

But there is one rub. What the feds want is to get one of Pellicano's electronic operatives to roll. Pellicano never planted the bugs himself, he got an operative to do it. And these guys are like Proctor, they're ghosts. They live in the shadows, like Travis Bickle.

What's the story here? The big one is how dirty stars play when they go through a divorce. Man, it's ugly. The forensic accounting is nothing compared to the dirt digging. Do you think for one second Tom Cruise didn't have a full file on Nicole Kidman's every phone conversation when they were going through a divorce?

Another thing that Pellicano is great at is illegally wiretapping the women who sleep with stars and come back either pregnant or psychotic. Remember the woman who sued Steven Seagal for all sorts of stuff after she slept with him on location (you have her name, I forget.) Nobody knew this was the same woman who had faked her own death years earlier on an insurance fraud scam until Pellicano went to work. And why is it that after Pellicano goes to work, all the subjects of his investigations are suddenly under the gun for taking anti-depressants? Read any deposition of someone suing a star that Pellicano has worked for that star (through the star's attorney), and it's all about the poor plaintiff looking deranged because they're taking Xanax or Prozac. If you think Pellicano finds out about these people's perscription drug use by anything other than wiretapping, then you believe in the tooth fairy. Pellicano is not some great sleuth with tons of investigators going through public records. HE gets his information putting bugs on phones and paying off cops. That ain't shoe leather, amigo. The reality is so far from Phillip Marlowe it's a joke.

Why am I telling you this? You owe an apology to Anita Busch. I want you to say, "I'm sorry, Anita." How would you like to be a single woman who, by the nature of her profession, has to be paranoid? And then goes online at to read how crazy she supposedly is? You crossed the line, Lukie Boy. I believe in the power of the Web to get to the truth, but you can't torture people like Anita. She was deeply hurt by what you wrote, and she's not even a public figure. ... singer.htm

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Post by Dialdancer » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:47 pm

I am not drawn to gossip Tabloid or otherwise. I will get into about Oprah or LMP, but as a former victim of it I know how unreliable it is, how it can be created out of nothing and how damaging it can be. So I disregard. I was looking for a lead found a refence to a writer named Ebner which lead me to a book called Hollywood Interrupted. I did not find what I was looking for, but I did remember see the name Barresi. What I found seemed appropriate here. If any part of this tale is true there is a question to be posed. (1) Why did this not show up in Michael's FBI File with other information that plainly exoerates him or at least show there were continuous attempts at manipulating events for the purpose of extortion and how often MJ could have been unaware of what his handlers were handling. Port 1 of 3


It was summer 2001 and Paul Barresi was working steadily producing

adult, military-themed films' 3 for the gay market. One day the phone

rang; it was Barresi's buddy Vaughn Kincey, another skin flick producer,

who incidentally was caught up in a breach of contract lawsuit

with Michael Jackson's company, MJ j Music.' 4

The story, as related by Barresi and confirmed in an interview with

Kincey, goes like this:

"Hey, did you hear the latest about Michael Jackson and gay porn?"

Barresi waited for a punch line. During the time he'd investigated the

allegations of child molestation involving Jackson, he had heard jokes

aplenty. And because he's known as an investigator and a guy who can get

information out to the right person or the public, he's funneled plenty of

stories; most don't pan out.

"Okay I'll bite, what's up?" Barresi asked when no joke materialized.

Kincey's reply made him pause. "There's a . . . porn producer working for

Jackson, and its Fred Schaffel!"

Fred Schaffel was a name Barresi knew well. He was a known sex

industry scumbag. His cinematic specialty was gay porn with titles like

Cocktales and Alan with the Golden Rod, and he had a predilection for

young-looking performers, preferably straight, who he would recruit

in Eastern European countries like Hungary and the Czech Republic

for both his personal and professional pleasure.

Barresi made a preliminary call to a friend at the National Enquirer,

but his tabloid contact told him that unless he got some more information,

they weren't interested. He'd hoped maybe they'd float him

a retainer to check out the story and if it panned out, pay him handsomely.

But now that the tabloids were all conglomerating, their

hunger–and their expense accounts–had dried up. He had other

things to occupy his mind, so.he let the matter drop.

The pleasant summer passed into the fall, or autumn of Jackson's

career, and Barresi had almost put the Michael Jackson porn rumor

out of his mind until one Sunday Kincey called again, and, according

to Barresi, told him that after a lot of casually asking around, he had

found out that Fred Schaffel was working for Jackson under the name

Marc Schaffel, but he wasn't sure in what capacity. Marc Schaffel,

Fred Schaffel, it certainly made sense, because Schaffel had used the

name Marc Fredricks on the porn movies he made. Barresi did a quick

Internet search and hit pay dirt; according to several archived articles,

Marc Schaffel was the executive producer of the Jackson fund-raising

ballad and video, What More Can 1 Give, which was supposedly going

to raise $50 million for victims and families of the September 11 terrorist

attack. Some more digging turned up the name of Jackson's public

relations firm, Rubenstein & Associates. Barresi didn't waste any

time calling their office in New York. Since it was Sunday, they were

closed, but he left a terse message on their machine.

According to Barresi, the message went as follows:

"This is Paul Barresi. I have information about an unsavory character

under Michael Jackson's employ who, if allowed to continue

working for Jackson, would prove damaging to Michael Jackson's

career and reputation." He left his number, and then contacted his

sometime associate, Dan Hanks. Dan and his partner Fred Valis run

a private investigation firm called Backstreet Investigations. Like

Barresi, they had received face time on various television programs;

unlike Barresi, one of them, Fred Valis, was a licensed investigator,

which meant the Backstreet team had access to databases that Barresi

(and the average citizen) did not. Backstreet detective Hanks printed

up Schaffel's Social Security Number and a list of his past addresses,

and Barresi went to work researching compromising information on

the porn monger turned heavy Hollywood hitter.

On Wednesday, November 7, as Baressi tells it, there was message

on his voice mail. The man's voice was nervous, slightly stammering.

"It's Barry Siegel and I was referred by Rubenstein & Associates

regarding my client." Barresi had to laugh at his attempt at cloak and

dagger–not mentioning the client's name. What a wimp, he thought.

And he was right.

Barry Siegel, Michael Jackson's personal accountant/business

manager, said I5 he was glad that Barresi had called him hack, especially

concerning the information about an employee of his client

which could assist him in ridding his client of said employee.

Barresi says that Siegel listened receptively to what Barresi had to

say, and then asked how much he would charge for information that

would lead him to the individual in question. Barresi told him he

wanted $1,500 for his help, a relatively paltry sum covering the

cost of his time and effort. The PI promised: "In the spirit of my

well-intentioned efforts, and as a condition of our agreement, you

would not be obliged to pay me a dime until after you conducted

your own investigation and found the information I provided you

to be absolutely true." According to Barresi, Siegel indicated that he

thought Barresi's offer was reasonable and said he would have to get

back with him.

Barresi recounted that, Siegel called him later and said he'd pay

out the fifteen hundred bucks, but that he [Baressi] would have to

sign a nondisclosure agreement. No problem. Barresi says Siegel reiterated

his good intentions, but added, "I won't be able to have the

papers ready tomorrow." That was fine. Barresi knew from past experience

that lawyers sometimes dragged their feet. But Barresi was

adamant about one thing. "I don't want to have to deal with 'Jackson

attorney] Marty Singer because they did not treat me fairly in the past

when I did some damage control for their client Eddie Murphy."

Barresi says that Siegel assured him that Michael Jackson had several

lawyers who handled different matters for him, so it wouldn't be necessary

to go through Marty Singer. "We'll settle our agreement on

Monday, November 12, at 4 PM," he said, and then hung up.

Barresi made a few calls to Schaffel associates to see what else he

could dig up on him, as if the list of films wasn't unsavory enough. A

fallen pop star struggling for a comeback after facing child molestation

charges and who had paid out millions in settlement money

doesn't need the director of View to a Thrill working for him.

Barresi says he struck pay dirt with David Aldorf, a former Schaffel

associate he'd known for awhile. According to Barresi, Aldorf invited

Barresi over for an in-depth chat. "Fred owed me money, fifty

grand on a deal that would have made me double that. I called him

once I found out what job he has now to demand my money, and I

let him know I had a tape of him directing porn with two young

boys performing."

Barresi says Aldorf paused for effect, opening his eyes wide and

clasping his hands like a silent screen diva. "He wanted that tape, I'll

tell you that!" Understandably, he [Schaffel] wanted that tape. No one

potentially working a grift with a major star as a dupe wants a tape

Barresi was floored by the existence of a video with Schaffel and

young-looking guys on it, which revolted him even the possibility

of minors on videotape was an anathema to him. He also saw the

scope of Schaffel's devious plan, which became even clearer as Aldorf

went on. "Fred said, 'Be patient, I'm working on this deal and you are

going to get your money. Michael Jackson is a billionaire 10 times

over. Twenty-five m ill ion is nothing to him. –

Barresi claims he said, "David, you have to do the right thing. Give

me the tape." According to Barresi, the conversation went down like this:

Aldorf pursed his lip; he was thinking hard, "If those are underage

boys on that tape...." Aldorf asked suspiciously, "What are you going to do

with it?" Everyone knew how Barresi had often played lawyers and

stars against the tabloids, which might have been an option before he

heard about the young boys. Or maybe he thought Barresi was going to

turn the tape over to Schaffel for some bank, cash that maybe he

could get himself. Either way he was wrong. The instant Barresi heard

that kids were involved, he knew what he was going to do. He was

not only going to Jackson's people, but he was taking it to law


Last edited by Dialdancer on Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Dialdancer » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:08 am

Post 2 of 3 Paul Barresi

Barresi pressed Aldorf "Okay, let me put all my cards on the table.

I am assisting the Michael Jackson people and they would very much like

to get a fix on specifically what Fred conveyed to you–how he intended to

go about framing Michael Jackson. Is that clear enough for you?"

Aldorf was relieved. "Oh. good, you are helping Michael... well that

makes me feel better, but that wasn't what you were doing originally was it

. . . when you first called me last summer?" Aldorf was one of the people he

had called earlier in the year, hoping he could dredge up information on

what Schaffel was up to.

Barresi shook his head, "No, I saw a story somewhere."

Barresi asked again, just to make sure. "So you are absolutely certain

that Fred intended to do what to Jackson?"

"Plant kiddy porn on him," was Aldorf's reply. Barresi had an idea

where this was going.

"And let's say for the sake of argument Jackson said, 'I'm not going to

give you the twenty-five million.' Who would Fred go to, to get revenge?"

Without hesitating, Aldorf replied, "The tabloids."

This was heavier than Barresi had first thought hack in July, or even

a week ago, heavier than he could have made it. Schaffel might he setting

Jackson up for blackmail, and now the fixer saw a chance to be hero to

both the cops and to Jackson.

" What else did he say?"

Laughing, Aldorf imitated Schaffel. "He said 'Girl, when I get that

$25 million, I'm going to make Fred Schaffel disappear."

For clarification, Barresi asked, "He, meaning Fred, is going to make

Fred disappear–talking about himself?"

Aldorf nodded and sat down his coffee cup. "Right."

But Fred Schaffel was about to disappear as far as Jackson was concerned.

And he would be history after Barresi's meetings next week.

Or would he?

Armed with the tape from Aldorf and more information on Schaffel's

past dirty dealings, Barresi decided to make things more interesting

and up the stakes for everyone just a little bit. So he did what any

law-abiding citizen would do: on November 12, 2001, he called the

FBI and the Juvenile Crimes Division of the Los Angeles Police

Department. (None of this is shown in the FBI File...... fiction or covering asses?)

It wasn't pure altruism or the desire to be a white knight do-gooder

that made Barresi get the law involved. He was upping the stakes,

insuring that even if he signed a nondisclosure agreement, Fred

Schaffel would sweat a bit, and that he could potentially help crack a

child pornography ring.

Along with upping the ante, getting the Feds and the LAPD

involved was a calculated ploy to make sure Barresi got his measly fifteen

hundred bucks. According to Barresi, Barry Siegel had canceled

a meeting with Jackson attorney Zia Modabber, who was presumably

drawing up the nondisclosure agreement, rescheduling for the next

day. Barresi says he was miffed; so he called and let the poor secretary

on the other end of the phone know that the tape he had with

"Marc Schaffel" on it was going to law enforcement. Knowledge

that Schaffel was under investigation for child pornography by more

than one agency might cause the Jackson camp to actually keep an

appointment with him.

Barresi claims that, predictably, Siegel called on the November 13,

and left another apologetic message saying that the meeting had to

be canceled because Jackson's lawyer Modabber was out of town and

unable to draw up the papers. Barresi called Modabber direct, and an

appointment was set up for the next day. He decided to play nice and

give them a copy of the tape before he gave it to the LAPD and FBI–

his law enforcement guys weren't too happy about being put off, but

he assured them he'd see them on Thursday, November 15.

Barresi says he was ushered into Modabber's office. There were two

guys there, one of whom introduced himself as Eric Mason, a private

investigator who worked for Jackson. The other guy was the youthful,

diminutive Zia Modabber. Barresi claims that he gave them

everything he had on Schaffel and that Mr. Modabber was thankful,

stating, "Down the road, we will be happy, in a very big way that you

chose to bring me the information." And Barresi believed him.

Barresi's meeting with the cops and the Feds went well, though

they were both annoyed that he had held on to the tape for an extra

day. He knew that they would sort out under whose jurisdiction the

case would fall. That wasn't his concern. Then things took a weird

turn on November 16. Barresi claims he called Greg Shearer, a business

associate and good friend of Schaffel (who is the producer of the

international gay porn title Prague 0rgy' 6), to see what he might

know about Schaffel and Jackson. Barresi was trying to get even more

information for Modabber and Mason, as well as for the cops. After

all, the title of Jackson's song that Schaffel was producing was What

More Can I Give and he wanted to give his all for all concerned, figuring

that he'd get something back.

(Is it possible this wanna be Dick Tracy sleaze is part of the reason for such a die hard belief MJ was guilty?)

Back home, Barresi says he was treated to an extremely abrupt,

threatening, racist phone call from Shearer where he was told to shut

up or run the risk that Shearer would physically harm him with some

nasty things. Although Barresi has the message on tape, Shearer,

known as "Spanky" in the gay porn world, says, "I deny saying those

things," but he does admit that he "lost [his] temper." Not only did

Barresi visit the LAPD's North Hollywood Division and lodge a complaint,

in typical fashion, he filed a complaint with the NAACP for

good measure.

According to Barresi, Shearer began calling his business associates,

making threats to boycott and/or stop purchasing Barresi's video

product. One associate told him that Shearer had asked where he

lived and what kind of car he drove, making the threats against him

seem a lot more credible. Barresi believes that Shearer also phoned

private investigator Anthony Pellicano, for whom Barresi had worked

for over 10 years, demanding a letter in writing from him stating that

Barresi had never worked for him.

Although he will not confirm or deny whether or not he called

around town smearing Barresi, Shearer does admit to phoning him

with a message that may have been perceived as a threat. "I did return

one of his phone calls ... feeding into Barresi's paranoia," says the

cagey pornographer. Shearer also admits to phoning Pellicano, and

while The Pelican admitted that he knew Barresi, Shearer says that

the PI informed him, "He [Barresi] is not currently working for me."

In conclusion, Shearer politics, saying, "In my opinion Mr. Barresi

makes some outstanding movies. He's extremely cash register honest

with the companies he works for. However, I find that if one is in a

business, I find it reprehensible that any individual would dig up

stories on people in that business only for personal profit. This type

of subterfuge, in the end, only embarrasses the industry and us as

professionals." Not to mention Peter Pan and his former personal

videographer, Shearer's friend and one-time associate, Schaffel.

Apparently, Pellicano had long valued Barresi as a resource. Barresi

could get the goods clients wanted. Say for example, two famous

stars are preparing to divorce. Pellicano would hire Barresi to dig up

the dirt on the husband, to find out what hookers and hustlers he

employs and what bondage parlors and "health spas" he frequents.

Maybe the dirt is for the wife, to strengthen her position in a child

custody or financial settlement agreement. Or maybe Mr. Top Box

Office wants to know what scandals are in the pipeline, so he–via

Pellicano or Barresi–can make them go away before Starlet Wife's

team finds out.

Barresi says he headed out for lunch with Jackson's private investigator

Eric Mason. He was providing Mason with other sources he

could contact about Schaffel and additional information on Schaffel's

shady business practices, including the tape-recorded interview he

conducted with David Aldorf. Barresi says that he also alerted Mason

that a videotape existed of Schaffel in Budapest, shooting sex scenes

with two young-looking performers.

"How much is it worth to save a pop star's ass?" Barresi says he

asked Mason, half jokingly, before informing him that by all indications

from both the FBI and LAPD, an investigation on Schaffel would

begin once they decide on which agency will be handling the case.

"Look, this hasn't been easy for me, Eric. Before I came over to meet

you, I had threats on my life from one of Schaffel's pals, who also called

business associates of mine and told them they should stop doing business

with me .... These threats are a direct result of my trying to save

your client considerable and irreversible damage to his career and reputation.

That's deserving of some reward and if Michael Jackson knew

the part I played in this, I'm certain he would feel the same way."

Barresi's thought process was simple, though full of fantasy–

Michael Jackson had been spared a horrible fate, and since he was so

filthy rich and allegedly such a humanitarian, he'd no doubt want to

handsomely reward the guy who'd helped him out. Barresi was

admittedly guilty of being seduced by the Jackson mystique, as well

as his own avarice, but it didn't hurt to try. He was a hero, wasn't he?

Don't heroes get a pot of gold, a castle? The moral of fairy tales is that

no good deed goes unrewarded. Right?

Thanksgiving had come and gone, and still no check from Barry

Siegel. Barresi's measly fifteen hundred bucks hadn't arrived, but

Michael Jackson's thirtieth anniversary (in show business) special had

aired. Meantime, Barresi had lost 12 pounds running around for the

Jackson camp.

Barresi says that Jackson's PI Mason left him a phone message:

"Paul, I've been unable to speak with Zia in regard to your request

for compensation because he is in the midst of severing ties with

Schaffel and negotiating the quick exit out of that relationship and he

is not going to turn his attention to your needs until he is finished

focusing on that, which won't be until the end of the week. And,

when he is finished focusing on that, I'll then talk to him about your

request for compensation."

Last edited by Dialdancer on Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Paul Barresi Info

Post by Dialdancer » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:21 am

Post 3 of 3

Modabber must have made Schaffel exit very quickly, because,

according to Barresi, Mason called him back within hours and left a

bold message saying that it has never been their policy to pay for information,

and they weren't going to start now. "So that's it. Take care."

In Barresi's mind, the Jackson camp had played him. They had

held him at bay until the Jackson special had aired, thus closing the

window of opportunity for him to go to the tabloids, who would

have paid big for this story, as long as it was timely. Barresi says he

should have known. And he should have realized as well that they

were the ones taking credit with Michael Jackson for having saved

him from a suspected blackmailing scam, or, at the very least, an

avalanche of public embarrassment.

But Barresi did have one happy realization: He had saved millions

of radio listeners and MTV and VH-1 viewers worldwide from having

to suffer through the music video What More Can I Give. It was

the least he could do for his fellow man. If only his fellow man, in the

form of a Jackson representative, had done something for him.

There was only one option left–Small Claims Court. Barresi filed

a claim, and the case was given a date of January 2, 2002. Siegel had

the case postponed until February 4. Barresi figured he'd want to just

write him a check and get it over with. But the morning of Monday,

February 4, rolled around, and there he was, outside of the Small

Claims Court with Zia Modabber as his witness.

Small Claims Court in West Los Angeles is held in a trailer, and

instead of a judge presiding, there's a pro tern–a lawyer or retired

judge who hears the case, thus freeing up real judges for more important

business. Since Modabber was an attorney, even though he was

appearing as a witness, Barresi asked that the case be transferred to a

divisional court, which it was. Barresi recalls that, as they walked

over to the courtroom, he told Modabber that out of courtesy he

wasn't going to refer to their client by name. Barresi hoped that

would make him look noble and upstanding, make them think he

wasn't some sort of would-be extortionist.
(This part will be easy enough to validate. All of Michael's legal history is on line. Even those filed and then dropped for himself and those who worked for him)

According to Barresi, the judge in the divisional court looked like

a cross between Andy Warhol and Peewee Herman–pale, weedy,

with a mop of prematurely silvery gray hair and big thick glasses.

Barresi could feel trouble, but followed the bailiff's instructions and

offered his file for discovery to Siegel, who handed him his defense for

his discovery portion.

The only document of defense was a typewritten memo from

the secretary at Modabbefs firm who had taken Barresi's call on

November 12 when he told her he was going to the FBI and the

LAPD with a copy of the Schaffel tape. It didn't read well; it made

him look like a smarmy blackmailer. Barresi wasn't betting on the

impartiality of the judge, but he sure as hell knew that Modabber and

Siegel would put a spin on the story to make sure he didn't get paid

and worse yet, look bad.

Without saying a word, Barresi went into the clerk's office and

filed a motion to dismiss his claim, meaning it was over. Case closed,

never to be reopened again. "Fuck them," thought Barresi. Modabber

was probably making four hundred bucks an hour, billable to

Jackson, to help undo a mess the business manager had made.

All Barresi wanted was his $1,500. Even more, he wanted Michael

Jackson to know his name, that he was the man who had rescued him.

But Barresi was not going to hold his breath waiting for a thank you

note from the King of Pop.

(Or maybe he did not get a thank you for involving MJ in allegations which would later be used against him or perhaps Pellicano knew he was going to try and play both ends against the middle....that is if true at all)

( A pity this story, may be total fiction, in its' own way goes to show intent of what those who are employed by MJ were are willing to do for money, but it probably a lie and we don't use lies to vindicate Michael no matter how nice they sound.) (As someone said back in 2004 this guy is the sleaziest. That is why T. Mes did not use him on the witness stand......credibility.)
Last edited by Dialdancer on Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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