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The Curious Case of Heather Locklear's Paparazzi-Ready DUI Arrest

Enter Jill Ishkanian

Mortals woke up Sunday morning to find out Heather Locklear was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence, after a "motorist" called 911 to alert authorities to the actress' "erratic" driving. Cops showed up and, low and behold, so did the paparazzi.

That's because the photogs were dialed immediately after the 911 call, by the same person: a one Jill Ishkanian, TMZ reported (though the post seems to have been removed had its URL changed).

You remember Ishkanian as the former Us Weekly staffer who left to start paparazzi agency Sunset Photo & News, only to become the center of a FBI investigation that, depending on which account you believe, alleged Ishkanian was hacking into Us' computers or that Us was trying to sabotage its ex-staffer. Ishkanian, meanwhile, is no longer with Sunset, thanks to a bizarre scenario where her now-former business partner stands accused of fleecing the agency.

And now, here she is, at the center of Locklear's DUI arrest. So how did the industry veteran just happen to be driving near the actress one night this week?

Because, according to one conspiracy theory, Ishkanian was purposefully following her with an agenda in mind.

You'll recall that back when Ishkanian (pictured) was running Sunset Photo, a certain lady named Denise Richards just happened to appear in a number of the agency's shots that were then sold to the tabloids. A on-looker might surmise that Sunset Photo and Richards has a special relationship going on, which benefited them both: Sunset got to profit from photo sales, and Richards got to dictate how she came across in the press (read: good). That was especially important, because the entertainment press was inexplicably obsessed with Richard's then-beau, Richie Sambora, who is Locklear's ex-husband and father to her daughter — and plenty of outlets were interested in painting Richards as the villain in the feud between she and Locklear. [Ed: This story was soooo boring, we didn't even pay attention at the time.]

All this might have led some, like TMZ, to conclude Ishkanian (a Richards ally) tailed Locklear, phoned in a false report of erratic driving to get her arrested, which meant she would have the first pictures of the incident, and another favor paid to Richards, who's still keen on seeing Locklear fall.

We asked Ishkanian to comment on the matter, and she told us "I'm not getting into a pissing match with [TMZ head] Harvey Levin who has all his facts wrong" and instructed us to check with the police investigating the matter, or her attorney. "I'm willing to go through yet another controversy if it means that I saved the life of Heather Locklear, or some other person down the road that may have been affected by her condition behind the wheel. A condition that was not determined by myself, but by 3 CHP officers. The toxicology reports should be very telling indeed."

Indeed, TMZ's latest report says there were other witnesses to the incident, which means accusations that Ishkanian's 911 call were tainted are, almost certainly, bunk. But it still doesn't explain why Ishkanian was tailing Locklear that night unless, of course, she was tailing her for a paparazzi scoop.

The photos of Locklear's arrest were snapped by a photo agency called KM Press Group, whose website only lists a P.O. Box. We don't know if Ishkanian is working with them.

Update: TMZ's latest includes a denial by Ishkanian's attorney that she called the paparazzi agency KM Press Group after she called 911 — a claim KM Press head Marc Mann denies.

The woman who called 911 on Heather Locklear says she never gave the paparazzi a heads up, according to her lawyer.

Attorney Nick Tepper, who reps Jill Ishkanian, tells "Extra," "At no time did my client call the paparazzi."

So where on earth did TMZ get off saying that she immediately called a paparazzi agency after calling 911? Well, we'll tell you.

Marc Mann, owner of KM Press Group, told TMZ Sunday night that Ishkanian did indeed call him after she called 911. KM got the arrest photos, which TMZ obtained and published.

We asked Mann why Ishkanian would call him. He told us Ishkanian knew they had shot Locklear approximately an hour before the arrest. Mann says they stopped shooting Heather because nothing eventful was happening.

The KM photog was a half mile away from Locklear, shooting someone else, when Mann says he got the call from Ishkanian.

By the way, Mann was on the phone with Ishkanian Sunday night, immediately before he told us she was the one who tipped him off.

Update 2: Ishkanian made a tidy $27,000 by selling the photos of Locklear's breathalyzer test to TMZ.

Comments (10)
No. 1 · jim

BTW - The tests are already back. She wasn't drunk at all. JI's bidness is in peril, she created a fake 'incident', she got paid bucks for the tip to the paps. Pretty simple really. We should be able to get tape of the 911 call shortly. Heather was released in short order - because her BAC wasn't anywhere near .08. Pretty pathetic when you have to make up incidents just to pay the bills Jill. We know your bidness is suffering, but geez…

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 12:39 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 2 · Keith

Jill you are a shameless bitch. Heather? Your fans will stand behind you 100 percent. Sorry you have to go through this crap because of some crazy bitch like Jill.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 12:56 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 3 · Key

FWI - the alcohol testing turned up negative, true. But the DRUG testing will take longer and isn't completed yet.

That said it does still sound horribly suspicious that Jill just happened to be trailing Heather. If she'd placed the call before Heather arrived at the store and needed to wait around to make sure that she was still at the location that she'd called in - that would be more credible.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 1:04 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 4 · Tee

LEAVE HEATHER & RICHIE ALONE.DENISE GO TO HELL!!!!

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 2:23 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 5 · sue

Tee…I'm with ya! Leave Heather ALONE!

Screw Denise…everyone else has!

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 11:42 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 6 · loriann

Heather i am so sorry you have to go through this , I wish people would leave you and Richie alone and realize that they are putting your child through a lot of unnecessary emotional distress!! Denise tries to come off as being such a good person and a good mother …when really the whole world knows that she is just a con artist and a selfish bitch I wish she would realize that the whole world can see her true colours and one day she will get what's coming to her and be kicked in the ass by karma

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 9:47 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 7 · Sheri

The question should be if you were watching her and she appeared to be incapable of getting behind the wheel, Why didn't you stop her? Any good citizen would have prevented someone from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 2:28 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 8 · phantom

Heather sorry for the crap you have to endure. we all still love you, even if your drug test comes back positive. maybe you just need help or treatment of some kind. we all need help once in a while.
I think that all paparazzi are scum. if i had the chance I'd take any one of them out if I knew for sure that they deliberately hurt some one. like the bastards that killed Dianna and Doedy. so, does that make me as bad as the paparazzi? you can decide that for yourself. but it's a dirty job, and someone has to do it. after all I'm the Phantom

Posted: Oct 3, 2008 at 9:10 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 9 · allknowingone

To everyone who is badmouthing Jill and supporting Heather: If the police where never called and an impaired Ms. Locklear crashed into a car containing family members or friends of yours, resulting in injuries or death, would you still feel the same way? Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the tip-off, Ms. Locklear clearly should not have been behind the wheel. Say what you will about Ms. Ishkanian but Ms. Locklear's behavior was selfish, self-serving and dangerous. Toxicology will reveal whatever substance she was on and clearly she was on something. You don't get glassy mug-shot pupils, big enough to drive a truck through, from getting high on life.

Posted: Oct 6, 2008 at 4:29 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 10 · Karma

David??????? you missed some facts:
NYPost
January 13, 2009 ????????
FORMER Us Weekly editor Jill Ishkanian is running out of moneymaking schemes. Ishkanian was shadowing Heather Locklear last September, called police when she saw Locklear getting into her car, and then sleazily sold photos of the DUI bust to TMZ for $27,500. Then, Ishkanian filed a $55 million lawsuit against Us Weekly, accusing then-West Coast editor Ken Baker of trying to ruin her reputation after she left the magazine and of sending dirty texts to his nanny. But a California judge has thrown out her case and awarded Jann Wenner's mag $1 million in legal fees.
WHERE THE F@CK IS SHE GOING TO GET THE $1 MILLION DOLLARS FROM?

Posted: Jan 16, 2009 at 12:05 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
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