British actress Charlotte Kirk has filed an explosive lawsuit against four Hollywood producers in an attempt to vacate a gag order relating to a 2013 incident in which she claims she was forced into sex to secure a film financing deal.
The Hollywood Reporter claims that Kirk, 28, filed the petition in Los Angeles Superior Court on September 3, with Australian billionaire James Packer, ex-Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara, and filmmakers Brett Ratner and Avi Lerner reportedly named in the documents.
Kirk is seeking to speak freely about an alleged incident that took place at Hotel Bel-Air on September 26, 2013, despite signing a confidentiality agreement last year.
According to the suit, Kirk claims she was forced into sex with Tsujihara – who was then the head of Warner Bros – in order to seal a $450 million slate financing deal between that company and RatPac-Dune Entertainment – a production firm founded by Packer and Ratner.
British actress Charlotte Kirk has filed an explosive lawsuit against four Hollywood producers in an attempt to vacate a gag order relating to a 2013 incident in which she claims she was forced into sex to secure a film financing deal
The filing states in part: ‘When [Kirk] arrived [at the hotel], she was introduced to a cocaine snorting [Kevin Tsujihara], CEO of [Warner Bros.] who shortly thereafter left and went into another room.
‘Mr. [Packer] told Ms. [Kirk] that Mr. [Tsujihara] wanted to discuss her career further in the other room. Ms. [Kirk] entered the other room to find Mr. [Tsujihara] naked on the bed and demanding sex. When Ms. [Kirk] hurried to the adjoining bathroom and strongly objected by text message to Mr. [Packer], he ordered her to comply by replying ‘Be Cool’. When attempting to leave the room, the significantly taller and larger Mr. [Packer] blocked her from leaving and menacingly told her she had to have sex with Mr. [Tsujihara].
‘Desperate to have Petitioner comply, Mr. [Packer] offered her $30,000 to do as he demanded, which she did not accept. Fearing for her personal safety, being blacklisted and the destruction of her career before it ever began, she complied with Mr. [Packer’s] demands and engaged in non-consensual intercourse with Mr. [Tsujihara] under duress.
‘[Kirk] later learned she was Mr. [Packer’s] offering to Mr. [Tsujihara] to further induce him to agree to a $450,000,000 deal between Mr. [Packer] and Mr. [Ratner], and Mr. [Tsujihara] and [Warner Bros.].’
According to the suit, Kirk claims she was forced into sex with Tsujihara (pictured) – who was then the head of Warner Bros. He has vehemently denied the accusation
James Packer (left) and Brett Ratner (right) were named in the suit. Kirk claims she was forced into sex with Tsujihara to ‘induce him to agree to a $450 million deal’ between Warner Bros and their production company RatPac-Dune Entertainment
American-Israeli film director Avi Lerner is also named in the documents. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lerner’ allegedly offered up information about Kirk with regards to Packer, Ratner and Tsujihara’
Kirk went on to have a brief consensual affair with Tsujihara. Last year, he was forced to resign from his post as Warner Bros CEO following claims he had promised auditions to Kirk in return for sex. He strenuously disputed those accusations.
Now, Tsujihara is also vehemently denying the new claims that he had non-consensual sex with Kirk in September 2013.
His attorney released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, which read: ‘Any claims made against Kevin Tsujihara related to Ms. Kirk are legally and factually baseless, manufactured many years after their brief consensual relationship to unjustly seek the payment of money.
‘The relationship was pursued by Ms. Kirk and at all times understood by Kevin to be entirely consensual. While Kevin continues to regret the relationship and the impact it had on his family, he will pursue all legal remedies available to protect himself from extortionate claims and prevent false accusations against him.’
Meanwhile, Packer, Ratner and Singer are also disputing Kirk’s claims.
Their lawyer told The Hollywood Reporter: ‘My clients are the victims of a multi-million-dollar civil extortion plot perpetrated by Charlotte Kirk, her former boyfriend Joshua Newton and her latest paramour Neil Marshall.
‘This so-called legal filing is simply the latest element of their ‘honey trap’ scheme to extort my clients with ever-evolving, outlandish false allegations of misconduct unless they are paid millions of dollars.’
Kirk is pictured with her current boyfriend, British director Neil Marshall
Text messages obtained by The Hollywood Reporter regarding the Hotel Bel-Air encounter do not provide clarity on the situation.
In 2014, Kirk allegedly sent a message to Packer with read: ‘u made me sleep with Kevin [Tsujihara]’
Packer reportedly replied: ‘I didn’t promise u anything or make u do anything. This is a very uncool conversation.’
Meanwhile, Kirk is said to have sent a text to Ratner the following year in which she claimed she was ‘used as the icing on the cake for your finance deal with Warner Bros.
‘It’s gross what you all did to me!!!’ she allegedly wrote.
But Kirk spoke with DailyMailTV in April 2019 after several of the texts between her, Packer and Ratner were leaked.
‘I don’t consider myself a victim then because it was my choice,’ she stated.
‘I wasn’t forced into anything and I did what I wanted to do – good or bad. I would make completely different choices now and I regret doing that.’
Kirk, pictured last year, said at the time that she did not consider herself a victim of any of the men because she pursued them
Last month, Kirk hit headlines after it was revealed she also had an affair with NBCUniversal boss Ron Meyer.
Meyer was ousted from his long-held position after anonymous blackmailers sent a draft lawsuit to the network threatening to expose the affair, forcing him to admit he was being extorted over it.
Meyer, 75, stepped down after telling friends and colleagues that he had an affair with ‘a woman’ – later identified by others as Kirk, 28 – ‘many years ago’.
The Hollywood Reporter and Variety that it was in 2012, when Kirk would have been 20 and Meyer, then married and 47 years her senior, would have been 67.
It ended with Kirk making some kind of allegation against him, before he reportedly paid her a ‘settlement’ in a bid to keep the ordeal quiet.
Last month, Kirk hit headlines after it was revealed she also had an affair with NBCUniversal boss Ron Meyer
Charlotte Kirk speaks out about affair with Warner Bros CEO in 2019 – saying she doesn’t want to be a #MeToo poster girl
Eighteen months before Charlotte Kirk was linked to a potential affair with Meyer, the actress opened up to DailyMailTV about her secret rendezvous with another Hollywood power player, Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara.
Kirk was just 21 when she had sex with Tsujihara, 28 years her senior, with the Hollywood executive promising to help her acting career after their rendezvous in a motel in 2013.
Five years later her texts to Tsujihara, his friend Australian billionaire James Packer, who was also her lover, and film director Brett Ratner were leaked – and Tsujihara stepped down from his position as one of the movie world’s most powerful men.
It was widely seen as a moment of vindication for the MeToo movement that a CEO’s casting couch sex with an actress decades his junior had cost him his job and millions of dollars in pay and bonuses.
But Kirk told DailyMailTV in her first television interview in April 2019 that she did not see what happened as part of #MeToo, saying: ‘I don’t consider myself a victim then because it was my choice.
‘I wasn’t forced into anything and I did what I wanted to do – good or bad. I would make completely different choices now and I regret doing that.’
She said she wants to be judged on her own merits as an actress – and insisted that her latest roles were gained entirely without the help of any powerful Hollywood sponsors.
‘I have been thrust into the limelight and no one had heard of me before this. My intention was to make a big bang in the world but not for this, for my work,’ she said.
‘It’s terrible but I’m trying to reverse that by showing people my abilities.’
Eighteen months before Charlotte Kirk was linked to a potential affair with Meyer, the actress opened up to DailyMailTV about her secret rendezvous with another Hollywood power player, Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara
She also insisted that she was not the one who leaked the texts that cost Tsujihara his job, and that she had ‘begged’ for them not to published and felt sorry for what had happened to the former movie mogul.
Until his fall, Tsujihara had been the architect of successes including Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and was forced out on March 18, 2019 – just two weeks after being given an expanded role in the company. He denied he influenced casting decisions but said his leadership was a ‘distraction’ when he stepped down.
Kirk’s road to becoming a public example of the casting couch began when she was 19 and moved from her childhood home in Bexleyheath, south-east London, to Los Angeles in hopes of breaking into Hollywood.
Living alone in a rented studio apartment, she embarked on a revolving door of auditions and acting classes to build on her time at stage school at the Italia Conti School of Acting in London.
‘It was really scary and lonely. It was tough because I had no family or friends there,’ she said.
Within months, however, she had met Brett Ratner, the director of movies including the Rush Hour series of movies and X-Men: The Last Stand, who introduced her to Packer, 25 years her senior and married with a two-month-old daughter.
Packer is Australia’s ninth-richest man, with a net worth of $3billion, according to CEOWORLD magazine. His marriage collapsed and he later had a broken engagement with Mariah Carey.
Kirk and Packer began a months-long affair in November 2012 and in September the next year, Packer introduced Kirk, by then 21, to Tsujihara, texting her at midnight: ‘I have the opportunity of a lifetime for u.
‘Come to [the Hotel] Bel air now. U will never be able to pay me.’
Within months of moving to Los Angeles, Kirk met Brett Ratner, the director the Rush Hour series of movies and X-Men: The Last Stand, who introduced her to Australian billionaire James Packer. The two began a months-long affair in November 2012 and in September the next year, Packer introduced Kirk, to Tsujihara, texting her: ‘I have the opportunity of a lifetime for u’. From left to right: Packer, Ratner and Tsujihara in 2015
Packer said she would be meeting ‘the most important man u can meet’. Kirk made her way to the hotel – and met with Tsujihara.
Later, Kirk wrote to Packer: ‘His [sic] not very nice! Very pushy!! He just wants to f*** nothing else does not even want to say anything!’
Packer responded, asking if she was okay and told her: ‘Be cool.’
At the time, Tsujihara was negotiating a Warner Bros. deal with Packer and Ratner’s RatPac-Dune Entertainment for $450million in movie financing. The Hollywood Reporter said the deal closed three days later.
Tsujihara and Kirk had clandestine hook-ups at hotels around LA. In one message Tsujihara wrote: ‘Wish I was doing something else.’
Kirk replied: ‘Mmmm such as? …. I remember how good you were at Mmmm. Your a giver ;)’
She then texted him about potential auditions. Tsujihara said that he would talk to a colleague and then asked her to meet up with him the following week after a dinner he was attending.
‘We’re also beginning to cast some cable tv pilots that I’ll look into as well,’ he texted.
Around a year after the first meeting, the relationship appeared to have cooled but Kirk continued to send texts to Tsujihara, Packer and Ratner.
Kirk was later cast in small roles in 2016’s How To Be Single and 2018’s Ocean’s 8, both made by Warner Brothers. Tsujihara has denied influencing her casting.
She told DailyMailTV: ‘Ocean’s 8 was awesome. I was shooting alongside Sandra Bullock.
‘I had some scenes with Sandra Bullock and there’s downtime as well, so it was great talking to her. She was just a normal, humble, lovely person. How To Be Single, same thing, great cast.’
She added: ‘I was still working my way up at that point and I hadn’t done so much then.
‘The lead roles were already taken so I auditioned for those two roles. My agent got me the audition. I walked in the room and got those roles on merit.’
In March 2015, Kirk texted Tsujihara and appeared to be unhappy about her role in How To Be Single, which starred Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson.
‘Kevin? A two liner?? U have got to be kidding me!!’ she texted, according to THR.
In July 2015, Kirk then texted Ratner: ‘You know what u need to do. U haven’t even come close to doing it. If you thought I would be so easily manipulated you’re wrong.’
He replied: ‘What are u talking about? I told u i would get Richard to talk to u…. And he did. He is the key to getting work…. I don’t work for u. Why are u so unappreciative?’
By the end of August 2015, relationships were strained and Ratner accused Kirk of extortion.
Kirk told Tsujihara that she felt used when movie roles she said he’d promised never materialized in a series of leaked text message between the former lovers. He has denied influencing casting decisions
‘You can’t take back the extortion u have committed because u have sent text and emails asking for these auditions and jobs,’ he reportedly texted, adding that she had landed a role in How To Be Single.
She replied: ‘Brett you’re an idiot I’m not extorting anyone.’
In May 2016, a settlement for Kirk was being discussed between Kirk’s lawyer, Raymond Markovich, and Ratner’s attorney, Hollywood legal heavyweight, Marty Singer.
It even had what appears to be a vehicle to pay Kirk – a project called From Autism to A-List, a reference to Kirk’s diagnosis with Asperger’s Syndrome, which puts her on the autism spectrum.
But the deal was never signed – and in March 2019, Kirk, Packer, Ratner, and most of all Tsujihara were hit by a bombshell: the leak of the texts.
Kirk strongly denied leaking the hundreds of texts that were exchanged by herself and the three men.
Kirk told DailyMailTV: ‘The Hollywood Reporter said they were going to leak [sic] the story and I begged them not to. They went ahead and done it. It’s frustrating.
‘There’s really two main points – this happened a long time ago, first of all.
‘Second of all, it wasn’t me that released the [texts]. I didn’t and I tried to stop it.’
The actress said she was baffled as to why the text messages had been made public but her representative said she was barred from saying who she suspected of revealing them for ‘legal reasons.’
The reaction to the texts was explosive – and bitterly felt by Kirk.
Tsujihara stepped down as Warner Bros CEO after the bombshell report.
‘I’m very sad that it’s happened. We hadn’t spoken for a long time. Hopefully he goes on to other things. I wish him success,’ Kirk said.
Packer and Ratner – who has faced other accusations of sexual misconduct – had not contacted Kirk since the scandal emerged, nor has she reached out to them, she said last year.
‘I don’t see the point,’ Kirk said. ‘None of us have spoken in a very long time.’
Kirk herself faced a backlash but said she would not be ‘scared off’ social media. Although she was being bombarded by messages, about half were supportive.
‘Some of them assume that I released the texts and this happened yesterday. They don’t actually read my statements so that’s frustrating,’ she said. ‘I read them and then I block them because they don’t deserve to be on my Facebook or Instagram accounts. They are trolls.
‘If I had a horrible review or comment on my work that would hurt me.
‘There’s been really nice people who say positive things. ‘Hang on in there, we’ve seen you in stuff, you’re great, it’s a bad patch.”
She added: ‘My mum is very upset by the whole thing. She suffers from anxiety anyway, so it’s not helping her nerves that’s for sure. I’m just trying to block it out really and focus on my work as best as I can.’
Kirk said she believed she could benefit from the scandal because people knew that she did not have help to get her latest roles.
‘Kevin unfortunately has lost his job but he stood down. Hire me on my merit and what they see. Even more so now, they can say: ‘Okay well there’s nothing to hide. Kevin’s not there anymore,” she said,
‘It’s not going to hurt my career because I’m not going to allow it to hurt my career. I think I still have a hell of a long way to go.
‘From 19 to 26, I’ve spent that time nurturing my craft. I think the more you’ve gone through, the more life experience you’ve had – good and bad – makes you a better person and it makes you a fantastic actor.
‘Once you’ve had a lot of s*** happen to you, it makes you a bloody good actor.’
Reporting by Louise Boyle for DailyMail.com in London