Pellicano Target: 'I Was Scared Every Day'

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Aurthur

Threatened and phone-tapped, journalist Anita Busch picks up the pieces.

Anita Busch would like her life back. Nothing has been the same for her since June 20, 2002, when she found her car vandalized--someone had damaged the windshield, leaving a dead fish with a rose in its mouth and a note with one word on it: "Stop." Over the following months, someone tried to run her down, her computer's hard drive was wiped out, and a repairman found equipment on her phone that turned out to be a tap.

The person ultimately found guilty of threatening her: notorious private investigator Anthony Pellicano, now serving a 15-year sentence for this and other crimes, including wire fraud and racketeering.

Busch was an entertainment reporter at the time, working on an investigative series for the Los Angeles Times about celebrities and their potential connections to organized crime. She had also written in the past for The New York Times on the fall of Michael Ovitz, the once all-powerful agent who had started a doomed management company. She says there were plenty of people who would have wanted her silence.

"I was scared every day," Busch, now 50, says about the months she lived in terror. Every time she started her car, she feared it would explode. She had nightmares. She stayed with friends and her parents until she realized they were scared to house her. "My peace of mind was completely obliterated. …