Terry Christensen, the high-flying Hollywood attorney who hired disgraced PI Anthony Pellicano to wiretap a billionaire’s wife, got a wrist-slap from federal authorities today.
Christenen hired the mercurial PI-to-the-Stars Pellicano to carry off this brazen plan to get evidence for billionaire and former MGM owner Kirk Kerkorian in his divorce.
Fact was he made a blatant error employing Pellicano, who was facing troubles of his own with weapons charges of all things.
Christensen was given 36-month sentence, plus a $250,000 fine to be paid within 30 days. Judge Dale Fischer is allowing him to stay out on bond pending his appeal, and authorities have confiscated his passport, Deadline Hollywood Daily reports.
But Fischer poured cold water on Christensen’s request for house detention instead of prison, which the U.S. Probation Office had recommended for a total 10-month sentence.
“The probation officers’ recommendation was ludicrous,” she said. “Home detention in an 8,000-square-foot house is not punishment.”
Speaking about Christensen’s own letter to the court expressing his
regret for his actions in the wiretapping case, Fisher declared, “His regret seems of recent vintage.”
Paul Barresi, a local PI who has worked with Pellicano in the past, observed the judge in court this morning and told FBLA: “The judge acknowledged Christensen’s defense team assertion that sentences handed down by the court in the past have been lenient. However, in this case, the judge noted that an example must be set.”
Pellicano, who was convicted in the wiretapping case as well, has had his sentencing moved to Dec. 15.