Pellicano (pictured) acting in his defense, questions key witness Tarita Virtue...
Greg Krikorian of The Los Angeles Times:
Tearfully confronting her former boss, a key government witness in the racketeering trial of Anthony Pellicano told a federal jury Wednesday that she feared for her life after telling the FBI and a grand jury about the indicted private investigator's alleged wiretapping and other crimes.
"I was shattered. I was so scared . . . about your retaliation," a seemingly terrified Tarita Virtue said to Pellicano, who is acting as his own defense attorney.
Recalling how Pellicano considered her "like a daughter" during the two years she worked as his top assistant, Virtue, 38, said she continued to act as if she would never discuss his business so he would not become suspicious that she was cooperating with the government.
"I wanted you to think I would always be loyal to you," Virtue told Pellicano, "because I was in fear for my safety."
Referring to a recent article in which Virtue was quoted as saying she wished Pellicano had died in prison, Pellicano stared at his former top assistant and asked, "Do you wish me dead?"
"I did," Virtue said, staring right back at Pellicano. "When you threatened my life, I certainly did."...
Attempting to defuse the moments of tension between them, Pellicano suggested that Virtue's anxiety and courtroom statements were driven not by fear but guilt or a sense of betrayal for testifying against him.
But Virtue rejected Pellicano's explanation.
Choking back tears, she recalled how her father had called her, alarmed, five years ago when he received an allegedly threatening phone call about his daughter from Pellicano, just as she had begun talking to authorities.
"Would I threaten to kill my own daughter?" Pellicano asked Virtue in a calm voice.
"You already did," she answered, sobbing, "when you made that call to my parents in Florida."
Wow! If those dramatic moments between Pellicano and the one time Sexiest Private Investigator-according to Maxim Magazine were not enough...Imagine what might happen when comedian Garry Shandling testifies at the trial...