Miramax chair Richard Nanula out in sex scandal

The resignation is another setback for the famed studio's reputation as a Hollywood innovator.

By Bruce Kennedy Jul 10, 2013 7:56AM

Credit: © Jerod Harris/WireImage/Getty Images
Caption: Then Miramax Chairman of the Board Richard D. Nanula attends the Miramax AFM Cocktail Reception at Casa Del Mar in 2011Since its founding in the late '70s by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Miramax has built a global reputation by distributing and producing a wide spectrum of original and independent films. Its name is linked with some iconic and award-winning movies: "Pulp Fiction," "Shakespeare in Love," "Chicago" and "Good Will Hunting," among others.

But another famous Miramax film, "Sex, Lies and Videotape," may partly sum up the studio's latest woes. Chairman Richard Nanula (pictured) resigned over the weekend after several websites published images of a man they identified as Nanula having sex with a porn actress.

The resignation "is a personal matter for Richard and unrelated to Miramax," chairman Tom Barrack of Colony Capital, which owns Miramax, said in an email to the Los Angeles Times. "Richard did an excellent job at managing his business duties."

Private equity firm Colony Capital purchased Miramax from Walt Disney (DIS) for $663 million three years ago. And Disney, in turn, bought Miramax from the Weinstein brothers in the 1990s.

The Times says Colony's tenure as Miramax's owner has been, on the whole, "a disappointment for Hollywood's creative community, which had hoped that its well-heeled owners would revive it as the sort of serious moviemaking enterprise it had once been."

Most of the company's efforts in recent years have involved working out deals with content providers like Hulu (currently owned by 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Disney and NBC parent Comcast (CMCSA)), Netflix (NFLX) and the upcoming Middle Eastern streaming service icflix, regarding Miramax's library of over 700 movies.

The Hollywood Reporter says Nanula's depature means Miramax is currently without either a chairman or a CEO after chief exec Mike Lang left last year, but it notes the studio has hired a "corps" of veteran executives to ensure the continued monetization of the company's film library.

And Nanula, a former Disney top executive, isn't the only major entertainment industry executive to be forced out of his job by scandal this year. In March, Hearst Entertainment & Syndication president Scott Sassa stepped down after becoming entangled in a sexting and extortion scenario involving a stripper.

More on moneyNOW

Jul 11, 2013 12:31PM
Good old Hollywood, so rife with character and honor.
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