In May 2003, I became involved in a . . . doomed book project, revolving around the federal investigations and criminal indictments of Los Angeles private detective Anthony Pellicano, the so-called “Sleuth to the Stars.” Directly or indirectly, usually working through a group of prominent Los Angeles attorneys, Pellicano had represented a wide variety of Hollywood celebrities, including actresses Rosanne Barr, Farrah Fawcett, and Elizabeth Taylor; actors Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, and James Woods; corporate executives Brad Grey, Kirk Kerkorian, Michael Nathanson, Michael Ovitz, and Don Simpson, as well as Michael Jackson, George Harrison of The Beatles, and television personality Jerry Springer, among many others.
My two years of free work on this matter served as a testament to the old adage, “No good deed goes unpunished.” In fact, the fallout from this period continues to this day—even after Pellicano’s conviction in 2008 for conspiracy and racketeering. I have described this situation to colleagues as The Book Project from Hell. . . .
Trusted friends have admonished me not to discuss this
very complicated case in this work, preferring that I tell
that story—if I must—in a subsequent stand-alone book.
Below is my
response to the recent sworn declaration
executed by John Connolly, in which I document
the false statements made by Connolly, as well
as additional false statements by Anita Busch.
See: Dan Moldea's 11-9-2011 sworn affidavit (executed in the State of Maryland), released by Michael Ovitz's attorneys as an addendum to their October 31, 2012, motion for summary judgment. (Supporting exhibits A-N, upon request)
Moldea's 2-26-2013 memorandum, responding to
Dave Robb's sworn declaration of January 10,
attachments A-H upon request)
Moldea's 3-8-2013 memorandum, responding to John
Connolly's sworn declaration of January 8, 2013.
attachments A-I upon request)
Briefly, on June 12, 2003, Anita learned from
FBI Special Agent Tom Ballard that a police-computer
file about her had been run on May 16, 2002, by an
LAPD detective who was working with Pellicano. The May 16
date was over two weeks before Anita joined the Los
Angeles Times where she began her reporting on
Steven Seagal and Jules Nasso. However,
it was just nine days after she had completed her
seven-part series about Ovitz in the New York Times
where she worked with staff reporter Bernard
Significantly—throughout her four depositions under oath and her sworn declaration of January 10, 2013—Anita flatly denied ever believing as early as June 2003 that Ovitz was involved, contrary to what appeared in her personal notes and in our draft manuscript.
Just to be clear: Under the terms of our collaboration contract, Anita had full editorial control of our manuscript—which was based on her own personal notes—and she exercised that right at every given opportunity. Everything is in writing.
latest strategy by Anita and her team—which includes the
phony claims by Dave Robb in his sworn declaration—to
resurrect the charge that I betrayed Anita by concealing
my connection to Jules Nasso is completely and totally
false, disproven by the written record of this sad
3. In May 2003, I began writing a nonfiction book with Anita Busch (“Ms. Busch”) in the wake of the alleged attacks against her by Anthony Pellicano (“Mr. Pellicano”), hoping that we could get the book published, tell her important story, and make money on the back end.
4. Ms. Busch and I signed an Author Collaboration Agreement (“Collaboration Agreement”) in January 2004. Although we would share the copyright and she would have editorial control, I would be the sole author. We gave the book the working title, A Woman at Risk (the “Book”). In addition, we originally agreed that we would split all advances and royalties 60-40 in her favor. I would work for free on this project and receive no money until we sold our Book project to a publishing house. A true and accurate copy of this Collaboration Agreement is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
5. To assist in the composition of the draft proposals and draft manuscripts, Ms. Busch faxed and mailed to me no fewer than170 single-spaced pages of detailed personal notes about how her life and career had been affected by the Pellicano investigation. These notes served as the foundation for our Book.
6. Between June 2004 and May 2005, I sent Ms. Busch four (4) clean and unmarked draft manuscripts, dated June 19, 2004, April 11, 2005, May 3, 2005, and May 10, 2005.
7. Ms. Busch provided handwritten edits for the first three (3) draft manuscripts, along with some typewritten material. However, she refused to approve the May 10, 2005, draft manuscript until I made a single change on page 230, which is the only difference between the May 10 and the final May 11, 2005, versions.
8. With my knowledge, Ms. Busch then submitted the approved 280-page May 11, 2005, draft manuscript, which consisted of chapters 1-31, to the attorneys for her civil suit, Busch v. Pellicano, et al. (Also, in my April 11, 2005, submission to Ms. Busch, I added a very rough first draft of chapters 32-42, which included pages 281 to 372.)
9. On May 25, 2005, Ms. Busch unilaterally halted our Book project because it supposedly conflicted with and jeopardized her civil lawsuit. She told me that her attorneys complained that our Book provided too much “free information” to the defense in her case.
10. I vigorously objected to her decision, provoking Ms. Busch to launch a smear campaign against me which continues to this day.
11. During her sworn testimony at Mr. Pellicano’s criminal trial on April 9, 2008, Ms. Busch falsely claimed that she ended her collaboration with me because I had “used” her, a charge that was reported the following day in the New York Times.
12. On the same day as the New York Times article appeared, I responded to Ms. Busch’s allegations on my personal website: https://www.moldea.com/Busch-response.html.
13. On August 18, 2011, I received a subpoena at my home from the lawyers for Michael Ovitz (“Mr. Ovitz”), a defendant in Ms. Busch’s civil case. I immediately called my attorney, Roger C. Simmons, and asked him to fight it. He and his associate, Jodi Lynn Foss, quickly notified Mr. Ovitz’s lawyers that we were willing to go to court to quash the subpoena.
14. In the days that followed, the subpoena was withdrawn. However, Mr. Ovitz’s attorneys sent us several non-privileged documents from the case. We refused to sign a required protective order for additional privileged materials. The non-privileged documents we did receive included Ms. Busch’s sworn depositions of April 14, July 21, and August 3, 2011.
15. I was shocked to see that Ms. Busch had provided my personal and private communications—as well as our draft proposals and the last draft manuscript of May 11, 2005—to the defense in her case without notifying me or my attorneys, even though I continue to own at least a forty-percent stake in this literary property.
16. Then, after reading Ms. Busch’s sworn testimony—which was replete with false statements about me—I decided that I had no choice but to defend myself and to respond to her allegations, point by point. I do so in this Declaration.
"Anita is not telling the truth about me and the fate of our book project. In the midst of her civil case against Anthony Pellicano and his co-defendants--for which she stands to make a tremendous amount of money--she decided, in writing, to sacrifice our book, which her attorneys supposedly feared would give too much "free information" to the defense. Then, when I complained, she launched a smear campaign against me, which continues to this day."
Just to be clear, I have not seen Anita since March 2004--even though we continued to work on our manuscript, on spec, by phone and through the mail for the next fourteen months. As a clear indication that Anita and I were still getting along well--seven months after we had last seen each other--she sent me this postcard in October 2004:
[Also see: Other greeting cards Anita sent to me.]
As per my attorney's instructions, I have had no verbal or written communications with Anita since her last email to me on February 9, 2006.
From the New York Times, April 10, 2008, reporting from Los Angeles and the federal conspiracy trial of private investigator Anthony Pellicano, where former Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch had testified the previous day:
A lawyer for one of Mr. Pellicano’s co-defendants pressed Ms. Busch about a memoir she said she had begun with two other writers, Dan Moldea and John Connolly. She said at first she had thought it could be a way “to survive financially.” But she said she had concluded that she was being used and abandoned it. “There will never be a book,” she said.For the record, I never "used" Anita Busch for any purpose. During the time that we worked together, I was always a loyal friend and colleague.
Also, John Connolly had left our project in January 2004. But that's another story. (See: "Connolly is not being truthful . . . ")