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Have A ‘Jim Wiatt Take The Money And Rum’

By | Friday August 12, 2011 @ 1:06pm PDT

UPDATE: That’s just one of the drinks being served at the William Morris Agency Alumni Party happening this Saturday night and organized by Rikin Mantri and and Mike Palank. “We have all been witnesses to the legacy of the William Morris Agency, and now it’s time to come tell a few stories with the people who at some point or another made 150-151 El Camino home.” There’s free food (since so many people lost their jobs) and specialty discounted cocktails (so ex-staffers can drown their sorrows). Here’s the drinks menu:


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Hollywood Accountant Ken Starr Gets 7.5 Year Jail Stretch

Mike Fleming

Kenneth Starr, who last May was arrested for running a Ponzi scheme on celebs that included Uma Thurman, Jim Wiatt, Martin Scorsese and Al Pacino, drew a 7.5 year sentence, the New York Daily News reports. He pleaded guilty last September. Starr was a nerdy accountant who changed his look after he hooked up with former Scores dancer Diane Passage and used money from clients to fund a lavish lifestyle. The 67-year old’s scheme was uncovered when clients like Thurman and Wiatt began comparing notes and discovered irregularities. It’s reminiscent of the money manager Dana Giacchetto, who became a preeminent investor of movie star money  in the 1990s and was undone after he got caught up in the reflected glow of fame. For wealthy stars and Hollywood deal makers, it’s also a terrific reminder that when your investment adviser sheds the pocket pencil protector and begins dressing up in black outfits and encourages you to invest in a competitive pole dancing league start up (as Starr reportedly did), it’s time to get your money the heck out of there.

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Jim Wiatt Sues Over Ken Starr Ponzi Plot

By | Monday December 20, 2010 @ 12:39pm PST

I’ve just learned that Jim Wiatt, the former William Morris Agency CEO who’s now an AOL consultant, and his wife today filed a multimillion-dollar civil lawsuit seeking punitive and compensatory damages from the international law firm Winston & Strawn LLP and its former partner, Jonathan S. Bristol, for their alleged malpractice and involvement with Hollywood moneyman Kenneth Starr Ponzi scheme. Kenneth Starr Pleads Guilty To Fleecing Many Celebrity Clients) Other defendants in Wiatts’ suit include Ponzi architect Kenneth Starr, who recently pled guilty to felony charges, and related Starr parties. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Starr couldn’t even come up with his bail, so the deep pocket here is surely Bristol and his law firm.

Starr, a celebrity financial adviser and accountant, cheated Al Pacino, Uma Thurman, and others besides Wiatt. He pleaded guilty on September 10th to fraud charges and admitted to a Ponzi-type scheme in which he lost between $20 million and $50 million of his clients’ money over the past 5 years. Not only did he help himself to his clients’ money, but he then moved money from other client accounts to cover shortfalls when questions were asked. The indictment alleged that Starr used the funds to finance such purchases as a five bedroom condo on the … Read More »

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Jim Wiatt Takes Consulting Role At AOL

By | Wednesday September 8, 2010 @ 6:06am PDT
Mike Fleming

In a move that will increase his time commitment to AOL, former WMA chairman/CEO Jim Wiatt has stepped down from the board of directors, and moved into a new role as strategic advisor. He’s supposed to use his relationships with Hollywood talent and media companies to create new opportunities to build branded content. It is a non-exclusive gig. Read More »

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R.I.P. Ed Limato

limato_chair_300x4003RD UPDATE: Ed Limato’s clients  weigh in on his passing:

Richard Gere: “Ed was my dear friend and agent for 40 years. He was the best of the best. There will never be anyone like him. The mold has been broken. He was probably the most respected agent of our time who loved his clients dearly and would do anything for them. “

Mel Gibson: “It’s said of agents ‘they have no hearts’. Ed was all heart!
He was there for me 30 years. I will miss him.”

Steve Martin: “Ed Limato not only represented important actors in Hollywood, but also represented class and kindness.”

Denzel Washington: “Ed was more than an agent. He was like a father to me and a dear friend to me and my entire family.”

2ND UPDATE (now completed): Ed Limato had been ill from lung disease and awaiting a lung transplant that never came. He arrived home from Cedars Sinai this week and fell into a coma. In recent days the icon who’d spent four decades in showbiz guiding the careers of some of its biggest stars was surrounded by everyone he loved: his clients and his friends and his colleagues. The untimely passing of this legendary talent agent at age 73 will cast a pall over Hollywood this holiday weekend. But his reputation as one of the greats will live on.

Most recently, Limato was a senior agent at WME Entertainment but he’d spent a lifetime moving between ICM and William Morris agencies. … Read More »

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