In a front-page article, the New York Times reported today (Friday) that contacts between private detective Anthony Pellicano on the one hand and Paramount chief Brad Grey and former superagent Michael Ovitz on the other were more extensive than they had previously acknowledged. The newspaper, citing raw FBI records, indicated that Grey, who previously had said that he was only "casually acquainted" with Pellicano, had numerous meetings with him, including several about a projected TV series about a private detective that Pellicano had come up with. According to the government documents, the Times said, Ovitz acknowledged that in 2002 he had hired Pellicano to see if he could discover "embarrassing information" about 15-20 people who were "coming after" him as he was attempting to sell Artists Management, a company that he founded after he was forced to step down as President of the Walt Disney Co. Both Grey and Ovitz have maintained that they had no knowledge of Pellicano's alleged wiretapping activities on their behalf. A lawyer for Ovitz told the Times that if Pellicano "used illegal means to get information that he thought would impress Mr. Ovitz, that was not done with Mr. Ovitz's knowledge and consent."
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