Prominent Hollywood mogul Kevin Tsujihara - the most powerful Asian man in Hollywood - will soon be out of a job. The CEO and chairman of Warner Bros. Entertainment is entangled in a Hollywood casting couch scandal that was apparently arranged by Mariah Carey's ex-fiancé, James Packer.
"I think he's toast," says one lawyer as Warner Bros. legal team conducts a third investigation into the details of Tsujihara's relationship with British actress Charlotte Kirk.
Complicating the issue is the fact that Warner Bros. investigated the issue twice and resolved the CEO of any wrongdoing. But that all changed when emails, text messages and a draft of a financial settlement were leaked to The Hollywood Reporter.
For the third time in a 16-month span, Tsujihara is the subject of an internal investigation about his relationship with Kirk. Parent company WarnerMedia is being asked how they absolved Tsujihara of misconduct in the first two investigations.
"That may be because the scope of their investigation was narrow," says Ann Fromholz, an attorney who specializes in workplace harassment. In other words, the investigators limited powers to investigate the chairman in the previous 2 probes of him. "Or it may be because people didn't give information to them and they had no other way to get it."
A WarnerMedia representative says the prior investigations it conducted did not find any wrongdoing in Kirk's casting in two Warner Bros. films: the 2016 comedy How to Be Single and the 2018 Sandra Bullock-led caper Ocean's 8.
But according to The Hollywood Reporter's knowledgeable source, the company is treating text messages between Tsujihara, 54, and Kirk, 26, first reported by THR in a March 6 exposé, as "new information."
According to two THR sources, "it is not a violation of company policy for a rank-and-file Warner Bros. staffer to have an undisclosed consensual relationship with someone who is not in his or her direct line of report."
But an executive of Tsujihara's status is believed to have more restrictive language regarding code of conduct in his contract.
Even if he didn't violate any specific policy, if Tsujihara lied during the previous investigations, that would be a fireable offense, say lawyers (employees are typically required to sign statements they make during a formal inquiry).
Tsujihara is married with two children.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images