NBCUniversal reached a confidential settlement with former Universal Studio manager Ron Meyer, who was overthrown due to a sex scandal last year, according to two people familiar with the matter who were not empowered to speak.
Meyer was ousted from his post as vice chairman of NBCUniversal in August 2020 after announcing that he had made hush payments to a woman to cover up an old affair.
Representatives from Meyer and NBCUniversal declined to comment. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
One of those familiar with the matter said NBCUniversal would pay Meyer up to $ 15 million.
Deadline announced the agreement first.
At the time of his dismissal, Meyer admitted in a company statement that he had reached an agreement “with a woman outside the company who made false accusations against me,” admitting, “This is a woman I am very much had brief and consensual affair with many years ago. ”
The woman at the center of the scandal was British-born actress Charlotte Kirk, and the relationship with Meyer went back nearly a decade, the Times then reported.
Kirk also had a brief relationship with former Warner Bros. studio manager Kevin Tsujihara, who resigned in 2019 after text messages suggesting they could find acting jobs for her became public. Kirk had supporting roles in “Ocean’s 8” and “How to Be Single”. Tsujihara denied having played a direct role in getting her acting jobs.
Meyer said he disclosed the settlement and threats to his bosses at NBCUniversal after others learned of the secret payments. He feared the situation would become public and tarnish not only him but also NBCUniversal, which has been criticized for handling allegations against Harvey Weinstein and former “Today” anchor Matt Lauer.
“I made this disclosure because other parties learned of the settlement and were constantly trying to blackmail me into paying money, or they were intent on falsely accusing NBCUniversal of unrelated to this matter and making false claims about me to publish. “Meyer said in the statement.
Meyer’s departure marked a breathtaking end to the 50-year career of one of Hollywood’s most popular moguls. A high school dropout and former Marine, his instincts and sociability drove him to become one of the most powerful talent agents in the business.
In 1995 he became president of Universal Studios and was responsible for the theme parks and film studios. He survived several changes of ownership at Universal, where he met overlords such as Seagram, the French conglomerate Vivendi, the mogul Barry Diller, General Electric and Comcast Corp.
After cable giant Comcast acquired NBCUniversal, Meyer took on a senior position as vice chairman of NBCUniversal, a position that left him less of an impact on the company’s day-to-day operations such as film, television, and the company’s theme parks. Even so, he worked with others, including now NBCUniversal’s Chief Executive Jeff Shell.
Known for his close ties in the industry, Meyer was known for being the executive tapped to calm frayed relationships with actors, producers, and talent agents.
The Times writers, Meg James and Stacy Perman, contributed to this report.