January 16, 2009
Kerkorian Ex-Wife's Attorney Files Suit
By ALEXA HYLAND
Los Angeles Business Journal Staff
One of the divorce lawyers who represented the ex-wife of Kirk Kerkorian in her bitter child support battle with the billionaire filed suit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that his conversations with Lisa Bonder Kerkorian were illegally wiretapped. Jeff Sturman, who represented Bonder Kerkorian alongside attorney Stephen Kolodny, filed the suit against casino mogul Kerkorian, jailed private sleuth Anthony Pellicano, convicted entertainment attorney Terry Christensen, and the Century City law firm Christensen founded, Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs & Shapiro LLP. Telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. was also named in the suit.
Douglas Johnson, an attorney representing Sturman, said evidence from the recent criminal trials against Pellicano and Christensen revealed that his client's conversations with Bonder Kerkorian were illegally recorded.
“Attorney-client conversations with his client were recorded, and we heard those tapes come out in the Pellicano trial,” Johnson said.
Patricia Glaser, a partner at the Glaser Weil firm representing Christensen and the firm, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Dan Marmalefsky, Kerkorian's attorney, declined to comment and said his client had not been served with suit.
In December, a federal judge sentenced Pellicano to 15 years in prison over the wiretapping of Bonder Kerkorian, and his role in an illegal racketeering enterprise that wiretapped stars such as Sylvester Stallone.
A federal judge sentenced Christensen to three years in prison and fined him $250,000 in November for conspiring to illegally wiretap Bonder Kerkorian. Federal prosecutors alleged that Christensen, a longtime attorney and friend of Kerkorian, hired Pellicano to gain an edge in the child support fight.
The government's prosecution of Pellicano and Christensen has turned into a small industry for lawyers. At least 15 lawsuits related to Pellicano are pending in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Kirk Kerkorian (left)
Bonder Kerkorian (right)
Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, ex-wife of automotive and entertainment billionaire Kirk Kerkorian.In '83 she beat Chris Evert Lloyd in the semis of a tournament in Tokyo, leading Evert Lloyd to gush, “She's lethal from the baseline.”