EXCLUSIVE: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas is joining 3 Arts as a manager/producer, returning to the rep business after 11 years. Once a high-powered dealmaker at ICM best known for guiding Julia Roberts from unknown to $20 million a picture as the world’s biggest female star, Goldsmith-Thomas left ICM in 2000 to run Revolution Studios East for Joe Roth and supervise films under Roberts’ production deal there. She has been a full-time producer since Revolution folded. An agent for more than 15 years at WMA and ICM, Goldsmith-Thomas also repped Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Connelly, Madonna and Darren Star.
The obvious question is whether she will be rejoined by Roberts, who went to CAA not long after Goldsmith-Thomas left. Goldsmith-Thomas said she comes to 3 Arts without any clients. While producing, she continued to give career advice when asked, but referred talent to agencies and management companies for years even as people asked why she wasn’t building a client list. She decided months ago to explore a return but was reticent to resurface as an agent. It would be hard returning to a job she left behind, and she never liked the poaching part of that game. She also didn’t want to give up producing, which agents can’t do. After meeting with 3 Arts’ Erwin Stoff, Goldsmith-Thomas felt she’d found the right fit. She will operate out of the management/production company’s New York base, where Richard Abate manages authors and runs the book department and Avi Gilbert manages stand-up comics.
“I’ve always loved the architecture of careers, and I missed working with colleagues in breaking down walls that have gotten thicker,” Goldsmith-Thomas told me. “I think it’s a mistake when people try to re-create the same career they had. I love what I’m doing now, and I see this as a complement.” Read More »
When President Barack Obama arrived at the Sony Pictures lot in April for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser, most studio employees left early and traffic was tricky. Tonight, it’s the First Lady’s turn. Michelle Obama will attend a fundraiser and discuss the 2012 re-election effort at the home of Michael S. Smith and James Costos. It starts at 6 PM tonight. Among those in attendance will be Linda Lichter, Peggy Lipton, Michael Patrick King, Donna Roth, Suzanne Todd, Jeff Robinov, Bryan Lourd, Roger Birnbaum, Peter and Megan Chernin, Brian Grazer, Kevin Huvane, David and Lona O’Connor, and Ellen and Portia DeGeneres.
I’m told CAA partner Kevin Huvane is throwing a belated birthday party on Saturday night for recently released from prison Joe Francis, the scandalous founder of Mantra Films Inc, which produces those disgusting Girls Gone Wild soft-porn video and DVD series which have prompted so many complaints that women and even underage girls were filmed without their permission. UPDATE: *In addition I’m told Huvane along with his posse of friends use Francis’s Mexico vacation compound in Punta Mita almost every Xmas and New Years as well as Easter. When Huvane’s not having his own parties he parks his very special clients there. So some see the birthday party as a payback.*
I’ve confirmed that Francis is not a CAA client. But it’s not only Francis’s professional behavior that’s controversial, but also his personal behavior. You may remember this article from the August 6, 2006 issue of the Sunday magazine of the Los Angeles Times by Claire Hoffman in which she described an incident in which Francis “humiliated” her by pinning her to the hood of a car and twisting her arms hard behind her back (so hard she feared he’d break them) while he pushed himself against her and shouted – apparently demonstrating his 2003 arrest in Florida. Hoffman claimed that “the pressure he applied was so intense that hours later, my arms were covered in red hand marks.”… Read More »
He’s a client of Richard Lovett’s and Kevin Huvane’s. Funny, Vince Vaughn signed with Lovett recently and already has been moved down the food chain to Dan Aloni’s client. (See my previous, Ashton Kutcher Exits From Endeavor.)
That published report claiming CAA partners Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane “may file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Michael Ovitz — charging that, among other things, he hired infamous private eye Anthony Pellicano to spy on them” is bullshit. Seriously, you’d have to know nothing about Hollywood to think anyone at CAA would go to court over that, even though it would inconvenience Ovitz a tad.
UPDATE: We all know the HBH part of flackery PMK-HBH has a rich and varied history of lying to journalists. Well, CEO Simon Halls told me this week — and made a point about going on the record about it — that those rumors about layoffs at HIS PR firm are a bunch of hooey. “There are no layoffs and no one has been let go,” Hall stressed. ”We’re actually having a really good year even with the bumps, like the strike. In fact, it’s on track to be our best year yet.” But sources are still insisting to me today layoffs are occurring.
(I’ll keep adding to this post as the day — and rumor mill — progresses…)
CAA has shown me the Pellicano trial transcript from Wednesday’s testimony by partner Kevin Huvane which serves to clarify why he used the old CAA building as the residential address for his driver’s license. (See my previous, Pellicano Trial: CAA Partners Say Nothing.) So, in the interest of fairness and accuracy, I’m printing this info where Huvane elaborates. Here, Huvane was shown Exhibit 161, the printout of a law enforcement database search made about him with info about his DMV license:
Q. Underneath that it says, “Residence address as of 1-31-1996″. Is that your residential address?
Huvane: That’s the address that we used for all mailing purposes.
Q. And what address is that?
Huvane: That’s the old CAA building address.
Q. Okay. Why did you use the old CAA building as your DMV address?
Huvane: because you never want to give your home address. You know, we have clients who have problems with security, with people looking up who their agents are, things coming inappropriately to your house, so we wanted everything to be straight to the office.
Q. So for security purposes, even on your license, you used your business address?
Poor Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane had to cool their heels all morning inside the Roybal federal building. A place near the coffee shop substituted as a Green Room for the Pellicano Trial. Even the government realized this was costing CAA a fortune. Around 12:30 PM, the feds told U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer that the two agency partners needed to go back to work. So an ex-FBI guy already on the witness stand was bumped for them. (How nice to know that federal trials are run like Craft.)
At 12:35 PM, Huvane appeared on the stand first. Asked about the events surrounding August 10th, 2001, since that’s when he was investigated in law enforcement databases, the CAA managing director pointed the finger at Michael Ovitz. “He founded a rival company. We had a dispute with him and decided not to do business with him.” Actually, Lourd and Huvane were mentioned in Footnote #11 of the government’s trial memo on the Pellicano case because “recovered from Pellicano’s computers were scanned computer printouts of DMV and criminal history information for Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane bearing [LAPD Sgt Mark Arneson’s name and a date of August 10th, 2001, which comports with the date when Arneson conducted database inquiries on these individuals”. No context was provided. But CAA had issued an “it’s Ovitz or us” ultimatum to Hollywood in 1999 after Michael Ovitz broke his promise not to … Read More »
The government may ask them to testify Wednesday or Thursday at the latest at the court proceedings inside the Roybal federal building. CAA partners Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane were mentioned in Footnote #11 of the government’s trial memo on the Pellicano case because “recovered from Pellicano’s computers were scanned computer printouts of DMV and criminal history information for Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane bearing [LAPD Sgt Mark Arneson’s name and a date of August 10th, 2001, which comports with the date when Arneson conducted database inquiries on these individuals”. No context was provided. But Lourd and Huvane were clearly victims and this is why: their CAA issued an “it’s Ovitz or us” ultimatum to Hollywood in 1999 after Michael Ovitz broke his promise not to raid the talent agency he co-founded and instead signed away Robin Williams and seven other actors and directors to his newly started management company AMG. Ovitz is mentioned in the feds’ trial memo as having hired Pellicano to investigate frenemies.