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Posts Tagged ‘Blair Berk’

AP LA’s Anthony McCartney on the Joys of Covering Celebrity Courtroom Drama

Although there will be some fireworks during Katherine Jackson vs. AEG, this legal matter will in all likelihood not be as striking to AP entertainment reporter Anthony McCartney as the Conrad Murray trial. Speaking to FishbowlLA Tuesday morning ahead of a day of early jury selection for the Jackson-AEG battle, he cited last year’s Murray trial as one that stands out during his five-plus years with AP.

“The recording of Michael Jackson‘s voice that they played during the trial, during opening statements was one of the more stunning moments that I’ve handled as a court reporter,” McCartney remembers. “No one knew the tape existed.”

“So much of what happened in that Jackson case involved two people, and one of them was dead,” he continues. “So to hear from the deceased party, in the courtroom, was very haunting. [Prosecuting attorney] David Walgren was also extremely impressive. There was a closing argument that he gave, where he emphasized the refrain “poor Conrad Murray” to call out the excuses that Murray had made for his actions and Murray’s defense that he was persecuted and it wasn’t his fault. Very effective.”

Then there is Lindsay Lohan. McCartney has covered her ad nauseum for AP and when asked for his take on what ails her (pre-Tuesday night’s instantly infamous David Letterman interview), he points to something a judge once said.

“It’s gotten to the point where I absolutely refuse to predict what’s going to happen in a Lindsay Lohan court hearing,” he confesses. “One of the more surprising things one of her judges said, about a year and a half ago, was that after looking at all the psychological reports, she didn’t think that Lohan was an addict. She thought that her problems were psychological. I think that statement caught a lot of people by surprise.”

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Natalie Wood Author Comments on Bombshell Tabloid Report

This week’s sensational allegations about the circumstances surrounding the 1981 death of actress Natalie Wood are not the first time the National Enquirer has trolled this territory. (And if you read the details carefully, the lifeguard log in question is far less shocking than the headlines suggest.)

In December 2011, the tabloid published the same basic “sex secret” allegations. And way back in 1983, a reporter working for the publication used dirty tricks to try and get something out of Splendour captain Dennis Davern.

What is new and credible is the revised Robert Wagner context. Thanks to the tireless efforts of New Jersey-based author Marti Rulli, there have been recently some other more authoritative revelations that have put the screws to the still-handsome actor. Rulli’s 2009 book Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour and related documents submitted to the LA County Sheriff’s Department in the fall of 2011 are directly responsible for all the news today that is fit (and not fit) to print.

FishbowlLA thought it was worth getting Rulli’s latest thoughts on the ongoing, re-opened LASD investigation. She was kind enough to give us the following exclusive statement via email:

“Innuendo that Robert Wagner and Chris Walken were caught in a sexual act by Natalie the night she died has resurfaced. Fact is, Wagner was jealous of Walken and accused him of wanting to bed his wife and that’s the factual account of what caused a huge argument between Wood and Wagner that led to her death.”

“The homicide detectives investigating Wood’s death have good reason to believe former captain Dennis Davern’s account: not only does Davern’s account make sense, Davern has cooperated fully with the department.”

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