Motion picture trade group fires top lawyer after sexual abuse, blackmail allegations

Motion picture trade group fires top lawyer after sexual abuse, blackmail allegations
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The general counsel of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Steven Fabrizio, has been fired from the trade group following charges of sexual abuse and blackmail.

“This is to inform you that Steve Fabrizio’s employment with the MPAA has ended for violating certain terms of employment,” MPAA Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin wrote in an email to the board on Monday.

MPAA represents the five major U.S. film studios as well as Netflix.

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Fabrizio was charged in D.C. on Saturday for threatening a woman he met on a dating website, Variety reported. The two allegedly had consensual sex on Aug. 19, he paid her $400, and then later threatened to expose her after she didn’t want to see him again.

Fabrizio allegedly used those threats to meet the woman again and they again had sexual intercourse. He threatened to expose her again following the second meeting, leading the woman to call the police. He was arrested outside her apartment in a set up on Friday.

“These charges, if true, are both shocking and intolerable to the Association. We had no prior knowledge of this behavior before these charges were publicly filed,” an MPAA spokesperson told The Hill in a statement on Tuesday.

Daniel Robbins, the MPAA’s associate general counsel, was named interim general counsel. MPAA has started a search for a permanent replacement, according to Rivkin’s email.

Fabrizio was at the MPAA for over 5 years. Before that, he served as co-chairman of Jenner & Block’s content, media and entertainment practice for over 10 years. Earlier in his career, he was a senior vice president at the Recording Industry Association of America.