Longtime Hollywood executive Ron Meyer announced on Tuesday he was departing NBCUniversal after disclosing he had faced efforts at extortion following a legal settlement he reached with a woman he'd had an affair with.
“I 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,” said Meyer in a Tuesday statement.
“Admittedly, this is a woman I had a very brief and consensual affair with many years ago,” the 75-year-old added.
“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 publish false allegations about me.”
Meyer led the Universal film studio from 1995 to 2013, when he was replaced by Jeff Shell, who was named the chief executive officer of NBCUniversal in January.
Since 2013, Mr. Meyer had served the company as a kind of statesman, with the title of executive vice chairman and a diminished presence on the Universal lot.
NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell sent a memo to staff informing them of Meyer's departure.
“Late last week Ron Meyer informed NBCUniversal that he had acted in a manner which we believe is not consistent with our company policies or values,” wrote Shell, who was named NBCUniversal CEO late last year.
“Based on Ron’s disclosure of these actions, we have mutually concluded that Ron should leave the company, effective immediately. We thank Ron for his 25 years of service, and for his significant contributions to NBCUniversal.”
The news comes after NBCUniversal has parted ways with NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy earlier this month after allegations of homophobic, sexist and racist behavior that also included claims Telegdy cultivated a toxic work environment.
Telegdy departed after NBC launched an investigation into the allegations in July following a claim by former "America’s Got Talent" judge Gabrielle Union, who had been ousted from the show.
NBCUniversal takes these matters seriously, and will investigate these allegations, many of which are coming to our attention for the first time,” NBC said in a July 31 statement regarding Telegdy’s alleged behavior. “NBCUniversal remains committed to creating a safe, respectful and supportive workplace for all.”
Telegdy staunchly denied the claims.
“The nature of these allegations flies in the face of everything I stand for. I hope that my actions over decades — empowering those around me, supporting artists, and creating shows with values of aspiration and inclusion at the core — speak louder than the selective words of a few," he told The Hollywood Reporter in early August.