Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara was reportedly involved in a sexual relationship with British actor Charlotte Kirk, in exchange for Tsujihara helping to secure Kirk meetings and auditions with studio executives for roles in various Warner Bros. movies and television series.
The Hollywood Reporter obtained hundreds of leaked text messages between Kirk, Tsujihara, director Brett Ratner and Australian billionaire James Packer (Ratner's partner in RatPac Entertainment) that detail the chain of events that began on Sept. 27, 2013, with Packer texting a then 21-year-old Kirk with the opportunity for an introduction to "the most important man u can meet," which was revealed to be Tsujihara. From there, THR reports Tsujihara arranged for Kirk to meet with studio executives, which was called "a highly unorthodox effort for the chairman of a studio."
A text message secured by THR from March 3, 2015, showed a frustrated Kirk texting Tsujihara to say, “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. Are u going to help me like u said u would?” to which Tsujihara responded, “Sorry you feel that way. Richard will be reaching out to u tonight.” Other text messages reveal Richard to be Richard Brener, who at the time was President of Production at Warners’ New Line studio. Brener is said to have been unaware of any relationship between Kirk and Tsujihara.
Kirk would be cast in 2016's How to Be Single and 2018's Ocean’s 8, both produced by Warner Bros, while also auditioning for other projects at the studio and Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films. More text messages show Kirk frustrated with the number of roles she was receiving, with Ratner stepping in to manage the situation and eventually broker a proposed settlement agreement that would secure her auditions and an appearance in one of his movies. However, according to Ratner's attorney Marty Singer, the deal was never signed, with Ratner maintaining he was only trying to help Kirk, who he called a friend, land auditions.
"Through her spokesperson, the actress has publicly denied any impropriety in her casting, and our prior investigation did not find otherwise," a WarnerMedia representative said in a statement. "Whenever we receive new allegations, it is our standard practice to conduct an appropriate investigation. And that is what we will do here." The Warner Bros. CEO's personal attorney states, "Mr. Tsujihara had no direct role in the hiring of this actress."
Singer, Ratner's attorney, said in a statement, "Brett Ratner did nothing wrong and had the best intentions. While he offered to help get Ms. Kirk a limited number of auditions, he consistently told her that she would have to earn any job herself."
"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 told THR. "I confirm that I was in a romantic relationship with James Packer in the summer of 2013 and that I was treated with respect by Mr. Packer, and I have no issues with him or claims against him. I further confirm that when the relationship ended I sought the advice of Mr. Tsujihara whom I had been introduced to by Mr. Packer. Mr. Tsujihara never promised me anything. I also confirm that 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. I deny that there was any legal settlement or agreement entered into between myself and Brett Ratner in 2016."
Tsujihara is slated to gain control of Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. studio in the new WarnerMedia following AT&T's $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.