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Lawyer Defends Dolce & Gabbana Publicist

Dolce & Gabbana publicist Ali Wise faces computer trespass and eavesdropping charges for allegedly hacking into an interior designer’s voice mail.

The lawyer representing Dolce & Gabbana publicist Ali Wise, who was arrested on charges of hacking a woman’s voice mail account, said she has “done nothing illegal and has done nothing wrong.”

This story first appeared in the July 13, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Wise is still employed by the fashion house, attorney Mark Jay Heller said.

Wise was arrested July 7 on one count each of computer trespass and eavesdropping, both felonies, for allegedly hacking into interior designer Nina Freudenberger’s voice mail.

According to a criminal complaint, Wise, 32, told a detective she used a service called SpoofCard to access Freudenbereger’s voice mails. Wise broke into the account 54 times between Jan. 2, 2008, and March 15, 2008, the complaint said.

Wise was arraigned Wednesday in New York Criminal Court, where a judge issued a temporary order of protection and released her in her own recognizance. She is due back in court Oct. 19.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment on the case, which has not been brought before a grand jury.

Heller said Wise’s statement to the detective was taken out of context and would not be admissible in court, contending SpoofCard does not provide a service that allows users to access another person’s voice mail.

He said authorities had misapplied new laws governing technology. The eavesdropping charge should be dismissed because, among other reasons, Wise had not overheard or recorded a conversation, Heller said. Of the computer trespass charge, he said authorities had not alleged or proven, “that Ali engaged in any ‘unauthorized’ conduct in conjunction with a computer or computer service.”

Dolce & Gabbana’s New York office declined comment Friday on Wise’s employment status. Heller said the company had taken a “prudent approach” and frozen her position pending the outcome of the investigation.

Before joining Dolce & Gabbana in 2005, Wise worked at Christian Dior and Los Angeles public relations firm Harrison & Shriftman.

Wise’s on-off relationship with hotel owner Jason Pomeranc has been a gossip page fixture in recent years.