Ecuador’s “dirty hand,” and Mia Farrow’s greased palm

Farrow in Ecuador raises a gloved hand.

In a propaganda move against Chevron, the government of Ecuador paid Mia Farrow $180,000 for a photo-op earlier this year. Monica Showalter’s excellent editorial shows the truth behind Mia Farrow’s Greased Palm

It would probably be bearable to hear the vapid, views of Hollywood’s finest if it were just a matter of stupid people issuing their opinions.

But when opinions become far-left activist causes and would not even be issued were it not for Third World dictatorship cash, then something else is going on.

Call it greased palms. The candidate for scrutiny who stands out, but isn’t alone, is Mia Farrow, whose talent agency took $188,000 from the government of Ecuador, a supposedly neutral party in the dirtiest shakedown of a corporation ever attempted, the $9.5 billion lawsuit by activist NGOs against Chevron, over pollution in Ecuador it had nothing to do with.

The former Mrs. Sinatra, who was best known for the 1960s film Rosemary’s Baby, wasn’t the only one receiving money from PR firm MCSquared: Danny Glover got $300,000. As you may remember, Danny reportedly received US$18 million bucks from the late Hugo Chavez for making a movie about Toussaint D’Overture, the Haitian slave that led the revolt against the French and declared himself emperor.

We’re still waiting for Danny’s movie.

But back to the $9.5 billion lawsuit

The Farrow visit was part of a campaign centered on an Ecuadorian court ruling that found against Chevron and ordered it to pay more than $9 billion in compensation, the largest civil penalty in history.

But, as Farrow knows from her other performances, there is often a final twist that can turn the story on its head. And so it is with her Ecuadorian jaunt and the Chevron suit.

A few months ago, a New York court found the Chevron judgment was obtained by fraud and bribery — mostly masterminded by Manhattan-based attorney Steven Donziger. The fraud was so outrageous that the judge found the Ecuadorian lawsuit was the equivalent of organized crime extorting money from Chevron.

The RICO laws, normally used against organized crime, are now being applied to Donziger and his associates.
The case was so corrupt, it’s impossible to list here all the outrages.

Basically the court found that the plaintiffs had bribed everyone in Ecuador from “independent” experts to the judges, and also corrupted or lied to US lawyers and scientific groups.

Judge Kaplan’s 497-page decision details the multiple instances of fraud; Paul M. Barrett, in his book Law of the Jungle: The $19 Billion Legal Battle Over Oil in the Rain Forest and the Lawyer Who’d Stop at Nothing to Win, about fraudster Steven Donziger, explains how

Donziger lost sight of the fact that the laws of politics are not the laws that govern the practice of law. As Barrett says, “Invoking legal process brings into play constraints that Donziger declined to observe.” Donziger’s failure to play by the rules didn’t just hurt his clients because his “reckless business management and lack of a moral compass” cast doubt on the wisdom of the entire business model of celebrity litigation.

But Judge Kaplan’s decision is not the end of it. Donziger is appealing, and Ecuador recently hired Putin’s American flack, New York-based Ketchum, which is attacking Barrett and his book. Ironically, Ecuador’s global public relations initiative against Chevron is called “the Dirty Hand.”

Ecuador engages in “widespread repression of the media”; by attacking Barrett, now they try to export the repression to our shores via a public relations firm.

We’ll be hearing more celebrity endorsements. Like Mia and Danny, having had their palms greased, the useful fools get to keep their money.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.