Zen Busch-ed

There’s a 4.29 Wrap story about how former hotshot Hollywood journalist Anita Busch is still pushing her civil lawsuit against Michael Ovitz and AT&T for damages stemming from the Anthony Pellicano wire-tapping scandal, which will always be linked, of course, to that June 10, 2002 episode with the dead fish on Busch’s windshield and the note that said “stop!,” etc. Almost nine years ago and counting.

I understand why it’s taken so long, and I definitely understand and respect tenacity and staying the course and snagging the dough if you can get it, but man…nine years of this? And how many yet to go? You gotta get what you can get — I get that — but you’ve also gotta let things go when you reach a certain degree of “fucking Christ enough already.”

Pellicano wire-tapped my ass in ’93 (or was it early ’94?) and bragged about it to me in a phone conversation, and instead of getting even by hurting him in some way I asked him for a favor seven or eight years later and he obliged because he knew he owed me one. And it was a pretty good favor. So it all worked out fine. I let it go and it came back to me like the tide.

I never liked Anita Busch, and I don’t like not liking people. Seven years ago I wrote that Busch was “like Old Faithful” in that “every time I saw her at a screening or a party, she always gave me a vaguely dirty look…Every. Damn. Time.” So I wish her well as long as I don’t have to see her again.

  • Ray DeRousse

    The Pellicano situation is one of the stranger episodes in Hollywood history. I’m glad he did you a solid, Jeff, but he was one scary guy.

  • ModernLifeIsRubbish

    Hollywood’s answer to Jarndyce and Jarndyce.


  • fred ott

    Wait a second. Busch is wrong for pursuing a lawsuit after nine years, but SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS AFTER you were wiretapped by Pellicano you still felt “he owed you one.”

    In other words, you still held a grudge and felt he fucked you over eight years later and he only made it right by doing a favor. What’s the difference between that and Busch seeking to being made whole nine years later — only she’s doing legally rather than the (likely) illegal way Pellicano helped you?

    The guy is a thug and a monster, as it’s been proven innumerable times. And Ovitz is a paranoid fool who beats up on little girls. They both deserve to go down, and I hope Busch gets a zillion dollars from these idiots, who have screwed up so many hundreds of lives besides her own — all for no reason other than chasing the almighty dollar, as well as some twisted concept of macho bravado.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Wells to fred ott: “I definitely understand and respect tenacity and staying the course and snagging the dough if you can get it…”

    I met Ovitz only once. It was in the lobby of CAA in the fall of ’89. Stuart Byron (my re:visions partner) and I were waiting for an appointment with a literary agent, and suddenly Ovitz and the late Sydney Pollack emerged from within, heading toward the elevator and probably talking about issues related to Havana, the gambling-Redford-in-Cuba movie which Pollack was about to shoot.

    Byron knew Pollack and said “hello, Sydney!” to him, and the two of them came over to chat. I remember how Ovitz was looking at us both, or studying us rather. He wasn’t on default cruise control in a go-along, schmoozing-in-the-CAA-foyer sense, etc. His darting brown eyes were looking at us like a badger or fox or wolf sizes up other animals in the forest. He was inspecting our faces for any signs of strength or weakness. I was thinking to myself, “Wow, look at those piercing samurai eyes! This guy never relaxes. Probably sleeps with one eye open.” Fascinating.

    As they left to confer again, Byron made a pointed remark about Havana, the script of which had gotten around & which Byron had read. “Great concept, Sydney!,” he said. The always attuned, always good-natured Pollack got what he meant right away. He glanced back at Byron, succcumbed to one of those trademark Sydney Pollack looks (half-grinning and half conveying a certain resignation that said “I might be going to hell but so far I can’t figure any way to avoid it”) and said, “Yeah, great concept, not-so-great script…right.”

  • Glenn Kenny

    You ever miss the days when your ass was considered worth wiretapping, Wells?

    Sorry, that came out gratuitously hostile. But seriously; it’s true that things have gotten a lot different in the post-intenet TMZ world, no? Don’t get me wrong, I myself hardly pine for the days when I had to field eleven-page cease-and-desist faxes from Mary Singer, or sit through endless personal meetings with the assembled counsels of studio X parsing over why we’d REALLY be better off not printing Y about said studio. But it was a more “exciting” time, and I imagine that its demise means you have a harder time convincingly maintaining your J.J. Hunsecker-inflected tough-guy worldview where corruption is a scintillating given in the karmic give and take, among other things.

  • Glenn Kenny

    “Marty” Singer, fuck me again. Although the notion of a Mary Singer is not unfunny.

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