James Packer Dragged Into Film Boss' Sex Scandal
Australian billionaire James Packer has been dragged into a scandal involving Warner Bros chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara who's alleged to have promised film roles to an actor in exchange for sex.
The Hollywood Reporter published an article on Wednesday that included text messages between British actor Charlotte Kirk and Tsujihara going back to 2013 when they were introduced by Packer at the Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles.
Packer and his business partner Brett Ratner were close to closing a production deal with the studio at the time.
The messages suggest a quid pro quo sexual relationship between the aspiring actress and the studio head.
Tsujihara allegedly made promises to introduce her to influential executives and said she'd be considered for roles in movies and television.
The messages also show Kirk was determined to hold Tsujihara, Packer and Ratner to the promises she believed had been made.
"You're very busy I know but when we were in that motel having sex u said u would help me and when u just ignore me like you're doing now it makes me feel used," Kirk writes in one of the reported texts to Tsujihara.
"Are u going to help me like u said u would?"
Some messages also imply Kirk believed she was used to help close the $US450 million co-financing deal for Packer and Ratner's RatPac Entertainment.
"Whenever we receive new allegations, it is our standard practice to conduct an appropriate investigation," a rep for WarnerMedia said in a statement on Wednesday."
"And that is what we will do here."
The story comes two days after AT&T-owned WarnerMedia announced an expanded role for Tsujihara, who is already one of Hollywood's most powerful executives.
WarnerMedia representatives say a prior investigation did not find impropriety in Kirk's casting in films like Ocean's 8.
She also appeared in the 2016 New Line release How To Be Single.
Asked about the allegations, a lawyer for Tsujihara said: "Mr Tsujihara did not have a direct role in the actress being cast in any movie."
But in a statement responding to the story, Kirk denied any inappropriate behaviour by Tsujihara or anyone else took place.
"I emphatically deny any inappropriate behaviour on the part of Brett Ratner, James Packer, and Kevin Tsujihara, and I have no claims against any of them," Kirk said in her statement.
"Mr Tsujihara never promised me anything."
The article describes an escalating situation in which Kirk expressed frustration she was not getting significant roles or auditions and threatened to involve her lawyer.
The report said that in response, Ratner helped broker a draft settlement agreement that would guarantee her auditions and a part in one of Ratner's movies.
But Kirk said in her statement there were never any legal settlements or agreements entered into between herself and Ratner in 2016.
"Brett Ratner helped me out of friendship to assist me in getting auditions and trying to help me find an agent, and I have no issues with him or claims against him," Kirk said.
Ratner was accused of sexual misconduct in 2017 by multiple women, which he has denied.
However, this led to Warner Bros cutting ties with him as the studio waited for the RatPac financing deal to expire in March 2018.
A representative for Ratner did not immediately respond to request for comment.