The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Confidential tells the facts and names the names

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April 19, 1957
Los Angeles


1957_confidential_01Jerry Giesler, one of the most prominent attorneys in Los Angeles, was chosen to lead the war against Confidential magazine during a meeting of the Beverly Hills Bar Assn. at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Giesler, who handled the cases of countless celebrities, including Errol Flynn and Lili St. Cyr, bitterly attacked the studios for not protecting their stars but "running to cover" when any of them were accused of wrongdoing.

"They talk a lot, but they do nothing," Giesler said. "I know. So each individual will have to stand alone. No matter who, no matter how right he or she may be.

"When it's over, they may get a pat on the back. They are congratulated, and taken back into the fold. But while they're on the battlefield, they never hear a word."

In outlining Confidential's method for avoiding libel suits, Giesler explained that the editorial content was prepared in New York and but the magazine was printed in Chicago. The publishers sold the copies before they came off the presses and had no connection to the chain of printers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers that provided Confidential to all those people who claimed they only read it at the beauty parlor or the barbershop.

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Giesler said he had brought lawsuits in California against Confidential on behalf Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott and Doris Duke, but had to refile them in New York, where crowded court calendars kept them from being heard for years.

Because Confidential did not do business in California and couldn't be sued in the state courts, Giesler said the only solution was legislation and called on Atty. Gen. Pat Brown to go before the Legislature to get a bill that would allow legal action.

To be continued...

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