Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh and the company’s billionaire investor Ron Burkle are freaking out after a New Yorker profile on Burkle was published Monday.The article, titled “Cashier du Cinema,” suggested Kavanaugh has forfeited control of his company to investor Ron Burkle, and that Kavanaugh could one day be replaced by Burkle pal, Harvey Weinstein.
Not so, says Kavanaugh, whose lawyer has already threatened the publication over the allegedly false claims.
“The facts they claim as facts are wholly egregious,” Kavanaugh told The Hollywood Reporter.
And Burkle agrees, calling out the magazine in an email meant for Kavanaugh that was later circulated to Relativity staff on Monday and published by THR on Tuesday:
It was clear from the start that Connie Bruck wanted to write about you. I told her we won’t comment about any investments. We specifically told her that you have a private company and anything she wants to know she should ask you. The only colour I gave her was that I like you, but it was a business deal.
The article is full of mistakes and misdirection…I have a five car garage not a 40 car garage….my worst year IRR was 8% and my best was 60%…not 2%…the mistakes and misquotes are endless.
Obviously you run your company, anyone who says otherwise has no idea about our governance or our relationship. Just as false is the statement that we got our equity from you for free.
A long time ago a friend told me articles like this are a successful person’s tax….it’s just part of life at our level.
I know it can be damaging to people who don’t know you or the facts. Let me know if there is anything you need me to do.
But The New Yorker is defending their story and released the following statement:
“We stand by our story, which is the result of months of reporting by the award-winning journalist Connie Bruck, including interviews with numerous sources close to the deals described.”
In the meantime, Kavanaugh denied to THR that Burkle has control of his company and other points in the article, such as this line: “One popular Hollywood theory is that Burkle will eventually fire Kavanaugh and most of the Relativity employees, put Harvey Weinstein in charge, and call the merged entities the Weinstein Company.”
Kavanaugh explains to THR, “I consider Harvey Weinstein a close friend, but we have very different businesses. What The New Yorker says about me and Harvey is almost laughable. Not only does Ron support us and support our business plan, this type of change wouldn’t be possible without the entire board — me included — supporting it. I’m too difficult to work with, anyway; Harvey wouldn’t want to be my partner.”
In fact, Kavanaugh say his relationship with Burkle is positive and ongoing: “Ron is an incredible partner, and we look forward to continuing to do more business together.”
Guess Burkle’s email smoothed things over, after all, and the two can agree on a new enemy: The New Yorker.
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