Actress at Center of Warner Bros. Scandal Denies Releasing Texts
(Bloomberg) -- The actress at the center of an investigation into Warner Bros. studio chief Kevin Tsujihara denied releasing the text messages that fueled the scandal.
Charlotte Kirk, a British actress who allegedly had a sexual relationship with Tsujihara, said she had nothing to do with the publication of a story in the Hollywood Reporter that was based on hundreds of leaked messages.
“There are assumptions being made that somehow I was responsible for the release of the texts, and that is simply not true,” she said in an emailed statement Wednesday. When Kirk heard the Hollywood Reporter was going to publish the story, “I implored them not to, but obviously to no avail.”
WarnerMedia is investigating the issues raised by the story, which suggested that Tsujihara helped promote Kirk while having an affair with her. The bombshell report appeared last week, just two days after AT&T Inc. expanded Tsujihara’s duties in a corporate shake-up.
The Hollywood Reporter said Tsujihara arranged meetings between Kirk and Warner Bros. executives working on film and TV projects. Kirk appeared in two Warner Bros. movies, “How to Be Single” in 2016 and “Ocean’s 8” in 2018. She also auditioned for other projects at Warner Bros. and Millennium Films, the publication said.
WarnerMedia, which became part of AT&T in an $85 billion deal last year, gave additional responsibilities to Tsujihara as part of an overhaul last week. He will now oversee kids and young-adult programming, including the Cartoon Network.
Kirk met Tsujihara through Australian billionaire James Packer and producer Brett Ratner, two filmmakers with ties to Warner Bros. The Hollywood Reporter published extensive exchanges between Kirk and Tsujihara, in which she asks about TV and film roles. The text messages also referred to a sexual relationship between the actress and Tsujihara.
In a previous statement, Kirk confirmed that she had a romantic relationship with Packer -- and communications with Tsujihara and Ratner. But she has denied that the men did anything untoward.
Tsujihara said in a memo to staff last week that he had deep regrets that “these personal actions have caused embarrassment to the company and to all of you.”
Warner Bros. previously investigated the matter, but started a new probe in the wake of the Hollywood Reporter story.
“Since WarnerMedia’s leadership became aware of details surrounding this situation some time ago, it has carefully reviewed the matter,” Tsujihara said in the memo. That included hiring a law firm to conduct a series of inquiries, he said. “Following these most recent news reports, the company will again work with a third-party law firm to review the situation, and I will cooperate fully with this investigation.”
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