Speaking of one of The New York Times‘ Hollywood correspondents (see Big NYT Hollywood Coverage Shake-Up below), how curious that Pellicano Scandal reporting duo of staffer David Halbfinger and freelancer Allison Hope Weiner were in court taking notes on today’s explosive hearing when the subject was, er, themselves. At issue are the ongoing leaks to the journalist pair. Big-shot attorney Terry Christensen, indicted in connection with his rep of billionaire investor and one-time MGM-UA owner Kirk Kerkorian in a child custody dispute, is none too happy over their January 11th audible scoop featuring Pellicano’s secret recordings of their telephone chats. (Audio and transcripts were posted on the NYT website.) As it turned out, Halbfinger/Weiner didn’t write the story on the hearing for the NYT; the article published Tuesday is penned by colleague Katharine Q. Seelye. Today’s hearing grew out of a motion filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in which Christensen called on the court to force Halbfinger/Weiner to reveal the names of their sources for that recent article. Christensen’s lawyer Terree Bowers succeeded in obtaining Judge Dale Fisher’s pledge to review what authority she has to compel the NYT to talk about who is violating the her protective order. (The San Diego U.S. attorney’s office is investigating.) Unclear is whether anyone actually subpoenas Halbfinger/Weiner about the leaks.) Both journos were at the hearing taking notes. So was Christensen, the lead partner at Christensen, Glaser, Fink, Jacobs, Weil & Shapiro, one of California’s top showbiz law firms having represented Paramount, Sony, Disney, MGM/UA. At today’s hearing, Christensen brought along partner Robert Shapiro (of O.J. defense team infamy. Read my previous post about Shapiro’s own legal troubles.). Meanwhile, news from the hearing is that the prosecutors just produced what Bowers is claiming to be 45 recently decrypted phone intercepts. No doubt, the NYT website will play what’s on them someday soon.
Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.