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FBI investigating alleged gossip leak at Us Weekly magazine

UPI News Service, 06/28/2006 

The FBI is looking into whether a former Us Weekly editor who formed her own Los Angeles agency has tapped into the magazine's e-mail system to steal scoops.

Staff at Us Weekly noticed in January that certain gossip items they thought were exclusives showed up in other publications, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The FBI was called in March and the computer system was locked down. In May, FBI agents served search warrants on both the home and office of Jill Ishkanian, who used to work for Us Weekly, but has formed her own paparazzi agency, Sunset Photo and News.

Ishkanian still freelanced for Us Weekly and had access to the e-mail network, her lawyer, Glenn Feldman, said. Feldman said many people used the same password to get into the magazine's e-mail system.

Us Weekly began to suspect a leak when it had planned to follow up on a tip about a romance between Nick Lachey and Elizabeth Ann Arnold, the Times said. When reporters arrived at the location, however, Sunset Photo and News was already there.

Ishkanian says that Us Weekly staff is just jealous of her success.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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