Randall Emmett, the prolific low-budget producer whose films are a lifeline for aging Hollywood action stars like Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson and Sylvester Stallone, is accused of a wide array of abusive, unprofessional and “sketchy” personal behaviors and business dealings in a sweeping report by the Los Angeles Times.
At 10,000-plus words, the Times’ account is based on dozens of interviews with former assistants and colleagues, many of whom were not named; as well as public records like civil lawsuits and filings from Emmett’s custody battle with ex-wife Lala Kent, star of the reality show “Vanderpump Rules.”
Allegations range from the serious to scenes straight out of “Entourage.”
Kent says Emmett tackled her to the ground in a violent scuffle for his phone when she accused him of cheating. Assistants say they were berated and ordered to carry out illegal and immoral acts. And at least one young actress said she entered into a long-term roles-for-sex arrangement with the producer that went on for months. Later come tales of an assistant traumatized when an ice cream sandwich he bought for Emmett was tossed in the trash because it wasn’t “fresh” enough, and a forensic recounting of a thrown ping-pong paddle.
Emmett has not been charged with any crimes, nor have any pubic civil lawsuits reflected allegations of abusive behavior (outside of Kent’s custody filing). Emmett denied any wrongdoing via spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister, a constant voice throughout the Times piece, explaining away, contesting or flatly denying many events as described by the paper.
Most of Emmett’s legal troubles are business-related. His company, Emmett/Furla Oasis, is fighting nearly a dozen active lawsuits, the Times reported, and may no longer be solvent. Most are from scorned financiers and producers, others are companies or individuals seeking dispute resolutions and loan repayments. Writers who say they weren’t paid for their work on an EFO project won more than half a million dollar judgment against the company last year.
“His normal mode of business is being sketchy,” Teresa Huang, one of those writers, told the Times. “He just spins all these plates in the air and doesn’t care how they crash.”
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The Times also reported that Emmett has a habit of hushing women in discrete nondisclosure agreements, even suggesting that he paid off the newspaper’s sources after they spoke with its reporters.
Hofmeister said there was “zero proof” of any NDA or payments in one such arrangement the Times reported out in exhausting detail. The Times separately noted that multiple sources for the story had circled back to retract their damaging statements about him – through messages sent by Emmett’s own lawyers.
At least one woman accused Emmett of offering roles in exchange for sexual favors. The woman, described as a 23-year-old actress with some minor TV credits when she met Emmett, revealed her story through attorney Gloria Allred but did not give her name.
The woman said she complied with Emmett’s demands for sex acts because she was “seeking to further her career” and did not want to “anger an important producer in the industry.” The actress appeared in Emmett projects for three years and successfully presented him with a $200,000 settlement agreement, the Times reported – though Emmett denied ever signing it.
The Times also reported that Emmett said in an April deposition that Emmett/Furla Oasis, hard hit by COVID-19, was out of money, had no employees, and basically “doesn’t exist.” During his testimony he said he had resigned from EFO to start a new company: Convergence Entertainment.
Representatives for Randall Emmett didn’t immediately respond to requests for additional comment from TheWrap.
Read the entire Times piece here.