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ABC News Payment Cited in Court, As Lawyers Seek New Trial for Drew Peterson

ABC News found its way into a bizarre courtroom sideshow in the Drew Peterson case today. Former and current defense attorneys for Peterson, convicted last year of killing his third wife, were in court over his representation. Joel Brodsky, Peterson’s former lead attorney took the witness stand and was questioned by Peterson’s new attorney, Steve Greenberg.

Brodsky testified that back in 2008 he deposited $10,000 received from ABC News for photo and video licensing fees into an account for Peterson. Brodsky later withdrew the money for “attorney’s fees.”

News divisions paying licensing fees with the hope of gaining access to newsmakers was rampant a few years ago. But in 2011, ABC instituted a policy against it after questions were raised about the ethics of the practice especially after  it was revealed in open court that the network had paid $200,000 to Casey Anthony‘s family.

Brodsky has filed a libel lawsuit against Greenberg claiming he’s mentally ill. The suit also names the Chicago Tribune and Patch, both of which have covered the fighting lawyers. As we said, it’s quite a sideshow. Today’s hearing is to determine whether Peterson deserves a new trial. Testimony continues tomorrow.

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