The detective who played a pivotal role in bringing down a group of Hollywood teens who stole from stars including Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, may have damaged his case by also serving as a technical advisor to an upcoming Sofia Coppola film based on the same story.

Because the case is still in court, the credibility of detective Brett Goodkin is being called into question. As criminal defense attorney Thomas Mesereau told the LA Times, "This looks very unsavory ... Clearly, it presents a conflict of interest if someone's investigation becomes oriented toward creating a story or entertainment. It's certainly going to taint the investigation's motives and make them look unprofessional."

Goodwin, who was paid $5,000-$6,000 for his advice, claims he only gave Coppola "generic cop kind of stuff" and did not leak any details about the case itself. He told the Times, "I'm distancing myself from that thing. I don't want it to look untoward."

Coppola also hired another defendant, Alexis Neirs, to serve as an advisor on the film, which will star Emma Watson and Kirsten Dunst. The group's alleged ringleader, Nicholas Prugo, turned Coppola down on the advice of his attorney.

Goodkin told the Times he helped Coppola because he wanted to learn about the filmmaking process, but now says, "I'm certain I'll never work on a movie again." He explained, "I wanted to see what Sofia was going to do with the story. It's interesting to see how things work in a factory town. Look, it's not like I was chosen because I am detective of the year. We don't choose the cases we get. It's not like there's a character based on me. It's not like I'm [being played by] Bruce Willis."

An LAPD spokesman said that Goodkin is under investigation for failing to get proper approval for his work on the film.

[via LA Times/EW]
categories Movies