Private detective Anthony Pellicano has been charged with tapping the phone of powerful Hollywood stars, including Sylvester Stallone, Keith Carradine and producer Aaron Russo.

Pellicano, 61, pleaded not guilty on Monday (06FEB06) to charges of racketeering, interception of electronic communications and other offences in a Los Angeles court. Pellicano stands accused of paying tens of thousands of dollars to bribe a police officer for unflattering information on leading Hollywood figures.

Pellicano, who has worked for Michael Jackson and DAME Elizabeth Taylor, and two associates are accused of installing wiretaps on the phones of several people he had been hired to investigate.

He also stands accused of spying on reporters from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times newspapers and Los Angeles TV station KTLA.

The former private eye completed a 30-month prison sentence for possession of illegal weapons on Friday (03FEB06).