LOS ANGELES –
As the previous captain in command of the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, Cory Palka was a star himself.
The towering cop with a telegenic smile hobnobbed with celebrities getting stars on the Walk of Fame, ran safety for the Oscars awards present and even landed a bit half taking part in himself on the tv drama “Bosch” a couple of gifted however troubled maverick LAPD detective.
But Palka’s ties to the leisure business and his allegiances have been below scrutiny Thursday after prosecutors stated he leaked a sexual assault sufferer’s confidential police report back to the accused, former CBS chief Les Moonves, for whom Palka served as a personal bodyguard for years.
The LAPD stated it was conducting an inner affairs investigation into Palka’s conduct and the state legal professional basic was probing any legal parts after a report stated he conspired with CBS to hide sexual assault allegations in opposition to Moonves.
The report, which did not title Palka, was a part of a settlement introduced Wednesday by New York Attorney General Letitia James wherein CBS and Moonves, its former president, agreed to pay $30.5 million. About $6 million goes sexual assault and harassment applications. The relaxation will go to shareholders stored in the dead of night whereas executives tried to forestall allegations from changing into public and at the very least one benefited by unloading shares earlier than information broke.
Weeks after the .MeToo motion erupted with intercourse abuse allegations in opposition to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in 2017, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb reported to police within the Hollywood Division that she had been sexually assaulted by Moonves in 1986 and 1988 after they labored collectively at Lorimar Productions, the studio behind “Dallas” and “Knots Landing.”
A legislation enforcement official briefed on the matter confirmed that Golden-Gottlieb, who died this summer time, was the girl concerned within the leak by Palka. The official was not licensed to talk publicly and did so on situation of anonymity.
Jim Gottlieb stated in an e mail to The Associated Press that he was “shocked and really dissatisfied” that his mom’s report was leaked to CBS. He stated his mom was by no means wanting for cash, she simply did not need Moonves to “get away with what he did” and was happy that her report contributed to his downfall.
“We want to assume the police are looking for us, the victims, and never the perpetrators,” Gottlieb stated. “This sounds similar to what you hear about sure police departments being in cahoots with organized crime.”
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represented Golden-Gottlieb, stated in practically a half-century of authorized observe, she had by no means heard of police tipping off a suspect to an investigation and stated it might have a chilling impact on different girls coming ahead to report abuse.
“It’s very, very disturbing,” Allred stated. “It’s actually outrageous in the event that they did that. And I’ve to ask, what have been their motives if that, actually occurred? Why have been they, for instance, attempting to curry favor with CBS? Did they obtain something in return?”
Golden-Gottlieb went public together with her accusations on the time Ronan Farrow reported on allegations in opposition to Moonves in The New Yorker in September 2018. Within hours of that publication, Moonves stop.
Nearly a yr earlier, the ink was simply drying on her police report — which was marked “confidential” in three locations — when Palka tipped off CBS, the report stated. Palka then met personally with Moonves and one other CBS govt.
The New York AG’s report stated the complainant had requested confidentiality. It cited the California Constitution, which prohibits disclosure of confidential info to “a defendant, a defendant’s legal professional, or every other particular person appearing on behalf of the defendant that could possibly be used to find or harass the sufferer or the sufferer’s household.”
The captain advised CBS that he instructed law enforcement officials investigating the grievance to “admonish” the girl to not go to the media together with her allegations. He additionally put CBS officers in contact with the lead investigator.
CBS instantly went into injury management mode, with an govt alerting a member of the information workers to remain near the cellphone as a result of they “have a state of affairs.” He advised one other staffer to not miss any messages and added: “I would not hassle you if this wasn’t critical.”
They started drafting completely different statements about Golden-Gottlieb and consulted with an out of doors public relations agency about potential fallout, the report stated.
When the allegations in the end turned public, Palka despatched a word to a CBS contact saying, “We labored so exhausting to attempt to keep away from at the present time.” He despatched Moonves a word saying he was sorry and, “I will at all times stand with, by and pledge my allegiance to you.”
From 2008 to 2014, Palka had offered personal safety for Moonves on the Grammy Awards, which CBS produced.
Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School and former president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, stated a police officer has to stick to authorized and moral obligations as a member of the drive and may’t violate these duties when offering personal safety. Typically, these two roles would not be in battle.
“The query is on a case by case foundation as as to whether or not it results in divided loyalty,” Levinson stated. “But the reality is, more often than not it actually should not be a troublesome name.”
Patti Giggans, govt director of the nonprofit Peace Over Violence in Los Angeles, stated her group’s advocates who work straight with the LAPD, together with the Hollywood Division, have been surprised by the information.
She stated she expects the scandal to have long-lasting repercussions, past victims who could be afraid to report assaults to the LAPD, as her advocates now reevaluate the relationships they’ve constructed up with native detectives.
Palka, who retired final yr as a commander, stated in his LinkedIn profile that his fashion was based mostly on constructing relationships with group teams, governments leaders and enterprise homeowners.
In Hollywood, Palka who stands properly over 6 ft (2 meters) tall, embraced his position with a big public presence.
He was a frequent fixture on the Walk of Fame, posing with celebrities like Lynda Carter, Jack Black, Carrie Underwood and Stacy Keach. He was personally thanked throughout Mark Hamill’s star ceremony and posed with Hamill, Harrison Ford and George Lucas.
He was honored in 2019 as one of many Hollywood Chamber Community Foundation’s “Heroes of Hollywood.”
An legal professional for Moonves and CBS didn’t return requests for remark Thursday, nor did Palka.
Palka’s LinkedIn profile stated he was incident commander on the Academy Awards and “quite a few excessive profile occasions associated to the leisure business.”
The Los Angeles County district legal professional declined to file legal expenses in opposition to Moonves in 2018, saying the statute of limitations from Golden-Gottlieb’s allegations had expired.
Moonves acknowledged having relations with three of his accusers, however stated they have been consensual. He denied attacking anybody, saying in a press release on the time that “Untrue allegations from a long time in the past are actually being made in opposition to me.”
Associated Press author Michael R. Sisak in New York contributed.