NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer, a fixture at the company for a quarter-century, was ousted Tuesday following the disclosure of a “years ago” affair that he said led to extortion attempts against him.
NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell issued a statement saying Meyer informed the company last week that “he had acted in a manner which we believe is not consistent with our company policies or values.”
“Based on Ron’s disclosure of these actions, we have mutually concluded that Ron should leave the company, effective immediately,” Shell said. “We thank Ron for his 25 years of service, and for his significant contributions to NBCUniversal.”
Meyer, 75, issued a statement of his own saying he “recently disclosed to my family and the company that I made a settlement, under threat, with a woman outside the company who had made false accusations against me.”
“Admittedly, this is a woman I had a very brief and consensual affair with many years ago,” Meyer said. “I made this disclosure because other parties learned of the settlement and have continuously attempted to extort me into paying them money or else they intended to falsely implicate NBCUniversal, which had nothing to do with this matter, and to public false allegations about me.”
He said he and the company “mutually decided” that he should step down.
“I’ve spent 25 years helping to grow and support an incredible company in a job I love,” he said. “It is the people at this company that I will miss the most. I regret what has happened and I am sorry for all the people in my life I may have let down, especially and most importantly, my family.”
The woman involved in the affair with Meyer was not identified. The New York Times, citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter, identified her as 28-year-old actress Charlotte Kirk, who also had a sexual relationship with then-Warner Bros. Chairman Kevin Tsujihara. He also resigned after the relationship went public.
Kirk did not respond to requests by the New York Times for comment. According to the paper, Kirk’s manager asked the paper if Kirk could be paid for granting an interview, which the paper declined to do.
The Times reported that a male friend of Kirk’s made repeated demands for more money from Meyer after he had paid the financial settlement.