Warner Bros chief executive Kevin Tsujihara has quit following claims he promised a British actress roles while they were having an affair.
WarnerMedia, the parent company, launched an investigation following a Hollywood Reporter story that detailed text messages between Mr Tsujihara and Charlotte Kirk dating back to 2013.
The messages suggested a quid pro quo sexual relationship between the aspiring actress and the studio head, in which he made promises that he would introduce her to influential executives and she would be considered for roles in movies and television.
In a memo to Warner Bros staff, Mr Tsujihara said he was departing “after lengthy introspection”.
“It has become clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s continued success.”
WarnerMedia chief executive John Stankey announced Tsujihara’s exit as chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros, saying his departure was in the studio’s “best interest”.
“Kevin has contributed greatly to the studio’s success over the past 25 years and for that we thank him.
“Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the company’s leadership expectations and could impact the company’s ability to execute going forward.”
Ms Kirk, who appeared in Warner Bros’ How To Be Single and Ocean’s 8, told Deadline in a statement: “I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Kevin Tsujihara stepping down at Warners.
“Our relationship ended many years ago. The release of the story by the Hollywood Reporter was nothing to do with me. In fact I tried to prevent it.”
Ms Kirk has denied any inappropriate behaviour on the part of Mr Tsujihara.
In an earlier statement, she said: “Mr Tsujihara never promised me anything.”
But details of the leaked text messages immediately put his future at Warner Bros in jeopardy.
Ms Kirk wrote in one 2015 message to him: “Are u going to help me like u said u would?”
Mr Tsujhara responded: “Richard will be reaching out to u tonight”, referring to Richard Brener, president of Warner Bros’ New Line label.
WarnerMedia said on Monday that its internal investigation into the situation, carried out by a third-party law firm, will continue.
(c) Sky News 2019: Warner Bros boss Kevin Tsujihara quits over Brit actress affair claims