Former Hearst Exec Scott Sassa's Racy Texts Revealed; Offered $1K and 'Blow' to Escort
The former top exec left the company in mid-March after the escort's boyfriend sent the messages to Hearst brass in a blackmail scheme.
The racy texts that cost Scott Sassa his job as Hearst Entertainment & Syndication president hit the Internet late Monday.
Sassa -- who also executive produced History's hit miniseries The Bible -- left the company in mid-March after executives became aware of an extortion plot involving an escort with whom he was sexting. The Los Angeles-based escort, who worked for the Friends of Kari Ann website, reportedly tried to blackmail Sassa for money, and when he didn't give in, she and her boyfriend allegedly sent the the texts to Hearst Corp. brass.
On Monday, Business Insider published copies of the texts, which it says it obtained from an anonymous source. The messages between Sassa, who is single, and the woman, apparently going by the name of "Kira," are sexually graphic in nature and even include talk about drugs.
On Christmas day of last year, Sassa sent "Kira" a text asking if she would meet him. He offered her $1,000 for two hours of her time and promised her "Molly," which refers to a drug called MDMA (aka ecstasy), according to the text messages.
They agreed to meet at the W Hotel in Westwood, but she then tried to ask for more from him.
"I have another job that is gonna pay me 1000. Convince me to come to you," she wrote.
"Well with the molly and the white you are going to have the best time," he replied.
In the messages, Sassa then proceeded to give a graphic description of what his sexual intentions were and confirmed that he had "blow." After some time went by without a response from her, she claimed to have car trouble and tried to cancel. It's unclear whether the two actually met.
"Kira's" boyfriend at some point discovered the texts and called Sassa's office March 5. He talked to Sassa's assistant and then emailed images of the texts, threatening to forward them to TMZ, with whom he claimed to have an appointment that afternoon.
The next day, he sent the texts to Hearst chief legal officer James Asher, who confirmed he received the email. He claimed to have another appointment set up with TMZ.
"What is the direction you would like to take?" he wrote, adding: "I will stay quiet and I will NOT communicate anything with them so long as there is a steady communication stream from you or whomever will be handling communication between myself and your organization."
Asher probed for more details, like the woman's name and contact information, and the boyfriend supplied the info.
On March 12, the boyfriend sent Asher another email claiming he had interest from not only TMZ but Us Weekly as well and offered to bring the phone with the messages to Asher in person.
Asher replied, "We do not need to see the phone. While I am not at liberty to share any specifics with you, we have taken appropriate action as a result of the information you have provided."
The next day, news broke that Sassa had been let go.
When contacted by Business Insider, Sassa said, "I just want to put this behind me." "Kira" did not return a message seeking comment, while the boyfriend, who does business under the name Ben Free, confirmed that the messages were real but declined to say more.
A spokesman for Hearst Corp. has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.