Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, has apologized to studio staff after the company opened an investigation into his alleged involvement in a sex for acting roles scheme.
“I deeply regret that I have made mistakes in my personal life that have caused pain and embarrassment to the people I love the most,” Tsujihara said in a Friday memo obtained by Deadline.
“I also deeply regret that these personal actions have caused embarrassment to the company and to all of you,” he added.
The apology came two days after The Hollywood Reporter published details of a months-long investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior by Tsujihara.
The publication said it reviewed “hundreds of texts, emails and a draft settlement agreement” for the March 6 article reported by Tatiana Siegel and Kim Masters.
The story included text messages between Tsujihara and British actress Charlotte Kirk, revealing the studio boss helped her obtain roles during an apparent sexual relationship after they met in 2013.
In one message, Tsujihara told the then 21-year-old actress he would arrange meetings with studio executives on Warner Bros. film and TV projects. Texts showed the scheme involved two other Hollywood power brokers, Australian billionaire and film financier James Packer and Rush Hour director, Brett Ratner.
After the projects didn’t materialize as quickly as expected, Kirk reportedly wrote in a March 3, 2015 text: “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?”
Kirk eventually landed auditions on several studio projects, and scored small roles in the 2016 Warner Bros. film How to Be Single and 2018’s Ocean’s 8.
Tsujihara and Kirk met through Packer. There had long been rumors of a liaison between the studio exec and the actress. While a previous investigation didn’t uncover any wrongdoing, the leaked messages reignited the scandal.
Following Wednesday’s article, the studio’s parent company, WarnerMedia, launched a new investigation into allegations that Tsujihara, who is married, had an affair with the actress.
“Through her spokesperson, the actress has publicly denied any impropriety in her casting, and our prior investigation did not find otherwise,” a WarnerMedia rep told THR 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 bombshell expose was published the same week Tsujihara received a huge promotion after AT&T acquired Time Warner.
Kirk was born in Kent, England, and lives in Los Angeles. According to her IMDb page, she is currently filming the thriller Nicole & O.J.
You can read Kevin Tsujihara’s full letter below.
By now, you’ve all seen the news reports from earlier this week.
I deeply regret that I have made mistakes in my personal life that have caused pain and embarrassment to the people I love the most. I also deeply regret that these personal actions have caused embarrassment to the company and to all of you. I realized some time ago you are right to expect more from me and I set a course to do better. That journey continues.
I am so proud of the great work you do every day. Together, we have built a company that is the gold standard in our industry. Warner Bros.’ culture is as important to our success as our business model. We need to continue the hard work we’ve done over the years to create a workplace where everyone feels included and heard. To that end, I’ve asked HR to make additional accommodations if anyone needs to talk.
Since WarnerMedia’s leadership became aware of details surrounding this situation some time ago, it has carefully reviewed the matter and handled appropriately, including having engaged a third-party law firm to conduct a series of inquiries. 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.
Please don’t let my mistakes become a distraction. It’s important that we all stay focused on our work—and part of that is creating a culture and company of which we can all be proud. Thank you all for everything you do to make that happen every day.