Ex-HBO CEO Albrecht on leave at Legendary amid book scandal

Published Wed, Oct 12, 2022 · 12:05 AM

CHRIS Albrecht, a former chairman and chief executive officer of entertainment giant HBO, has been placed on leave at his current workplace, Legendary Entertainment, amid allegations published in a new book that he disparaged a staffer who left HBO decades ago.

Albrecht denies the allegations. A spokesperson for Legendary confirmed that Albrecht, president of Legendary Television, was put on leave, without elabourating on the reasons for the move.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the development, citing a forthcoming book It’s Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO. The book details Albrecht’s alleged ill treatment of an employee who quit HBO after a settlement mediated by the media company.

“After more than 30 years, an old, flawed story is now being refurbished and recycled for the sake of sales,” Albrecht said in an emailed response. “I have sincerely apologised to those whom I offended with disrespect and unacceptable behaviour. But that doesn’t sell books or generate media attention.”

The sector veteran had a long run at the helm of HBO and oversaw hit TV series such as The Sopranos, Sex and the City and Band of Brothers among others.

Time Warner fired Albrecht in May 2007, three days after he was arrested in Las Vegas following a fight with his girlfriend - an incident he blamed on alcoholism. In 1991, HBO paid a settlement of at least US$400,000 to a female subordinate of Albrecht’s who had alleged that he shoved and choked her, Bloomberg News reported in 2007, citing a Los Angeles Times report.

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After HBO, Albrecht served as the CEO of premium cable network Starz before stepping down in 2019 and joining Legendary. BLOOMBERG

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