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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Sylvester Stallone finally was the talk of Anthony Pellicano’s wiretapping trial. No, the Hollywood star wasn’t called to testify Thursday even though his name appeared on the prosecution’s witness list. But prosecutors rested their case against Pellicano and four co-defendants by playing a tape of the indicted private eye talking to a business manager who had just been sued by Stallone. Pellicano, who is acting as his own attorney, was to begin his defense on Friday. On the 2002 tape, he is heard telling business manager Kenneth Starr he has the names of potential witnesses and other details from Stallone’s camp. “I’m finding out everything they got,” Pellicano said. Starr had been sued by Stallone over his investment in Planet Hollywood restaurants. Stallone claimed Starr had advised him not to unload millions of dollars worth of stock because it would send the wrong message to other investors. Meanwhile, Stallone claimed, Starr was telling others that Planet Hollywood was headed for bankruptcy. Federal prosecutors contend the tape proves that Pellicano gained information by wiretapping Stallone’s phone calls. Pellicano, 64, is accused of running a criminal enterprise that used wiretaps and other clandestine tactics to dig up dirt to help his clients gain an advantage in legal and other disputes. He and the co-defendants have pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges. Attorney Lawrence Nagler, who represented Stallone in the lawsuit, testified that listening to calls involving Stallone was the only way Pellicano could have discovered Nagler’s legal strategy. “There was a rumor going around (Pellicano) was doing those kind of things,” Nagler told jurors. “I said we have to check those things out the best we can.” Nagler said he hired his own private investigator to sweep Stallone’s phones for possible bugs but found none. However, federal prosecutors said in the indictment of Pellicano and others that the private investigator used special software to intercept the actor’s phone calls “in or around February 2002.” Prosecutors did not play any wiretapped phone calls involving Stallone. Nagler testified that during one phone call, he made his only mention of a woman who had complained to Starr about her investment in Planet Hollywood. On the tape, Pellicano is heard talking about the woman. “I don’t know how (Pellicano) could know I was after her,” Nagler testified. He said Stallone eventually received a “substantial” settlement in the lawsuit, but it came on the condition that he destroy documents and evidence gathered against Starr. Also Thursday, U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer granted a prosecution request to dismiss a total of 28 charges against Pellicano and former Los Angeles police Sgt. Mark Arneson. The dropped counts mostly involved wire fraud and identity theft that authorities had alleged involved Arneson searching law enforcement databases for Pellicano. More than 35 charges remain against the two men.

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