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Evidence showed that his eighth wife, Jacqueline, who was nearly 50 years younger, paid Pellicano at least $115,000 to snoop on her husband after he was caught having phone sex with another woman, according to the lawsuit.

Ex-Pellicano employee Richard Campau testified that Mrs. Colburn was in the private eye’s office regularly listening to audio tapes of calls to and from the family home. Physical therapist David Powers also testified that Mrs. Colburn bragged to him that she had hired the best private investigator in Los Angeles and he was using wiretaps.

There were an estimated 500 calls that were wiretapped by Pellicano over a 10-month period that captured numerous personal, medical and business matters involving the three adult children from a prior marriage and the ex-personal assistant, all of whom thought their conversations were private.

They “never knew of the surreptitious eavesdropping and certainly never agreed to put their personal lives on public display,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Wayne Skigen.

The lawsuit focused solely on the ex-wife and Pellicano and wasn’t bogged down by suing large entities, such as the phone company or any cities. Mr. Segal and Mr. Skigen are seeking a default judgment against Pellicano because he hasn’t responded to their claims.

Attempts to reach Mrs. Colburn’s attorney, Stanley McKiernan, were unsuccessful Wednesday. Mr. McKiernan has said there isn’t any evidence showing Pellicano wiretapped on his client’s behalf.

Federal authorities started investigating Pellicano after former Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch found a dead fish with a rose in its mouth on her car along with a sign reading “stop” in June 2002.

Ms. Busch testified at the criminal trial that she thought Mr. Ovitz and Pellicano had orchestrated the threat because she co-wrote articles about the agent’s alleged financial troubles while his talent agency was in talks to be acquired.

Mr. Ovitz is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Ms. Busch. He has yet to give a deposition.