Right now, in some lawyer’s office, there is a 2017 audio recording of one of the most powerful Hollywood executives of the past half century saying of O.J. Simpson, “I always thought he was guilty until I read Josh’s script… Let’s make this movie before this guy gets out of prison… We’ll find ways to get this movie financed and distributed.” The voice on that recording allegedly belongs to Ron Meyer, the legendary CAA co-founder, Universal Studios president, and vice chairman at NBCUniversal, who, two years after exiting amid a scandal involving his affair with actress Charlotte Kirk, is now at the center of a $150 million lawsuit almost as unbelievable as the notion that O.J. isn’t a murderer.
On one level, that audio tape—which Meyer’s lawyer, Danya Perry, suggests may violate California’s criminal law against eavesdropping—is a remnant from l’affaire Kirk. She’s the actress who claimed she was coerced into sex with several Hollywood executives and then fought to lift a gag order that had kept her silent. Both Meyer and Kevin Tsujihara, the former Warner Bros. C.E.O. who also stepped down over a Kirk affair, have denied anything but brief, consensual relationships with her. But both were alleged to have sought acting roles for Kirk. One such role was Nicole Brown Simpson in Nicole & O.J., a $65 million film directed by Joshua Newton that purports Simpson was framed for double-murder, based on Newton’s own reexamination of the evidence.
Newton, yet another former boyfriend of Kirk, now sees something sinister in what Meyer allegedly said on that recorded call about his O.J. movie, and Meyer’s close attention to his project now forms the basis of litigation against NBCUniversal and its former executive. This past week, both Meyer and NBCU separately moved to dismiss the claims. These latest court papers, as well as a podcast interview that Meyer gave a few weeks ago, provide fresh perspectives on one of the most sordid episodes in modern Hollywood.