Ron Burkle's Email to Ryan Kavanaugh Over New Yorker Controversy (Exclusive)

10:31 AM PST 10/02/2012 by Kim Masters
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"Articles like this are a successful person's tax," the investor tells the CEO in a message circulated within the company.

The Hollywood Reporter has obtained the following email that was circulated to Relativity staff on Monday afternoon following news of a New Yorker article alleging that Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh has forfeited control of his company to investor Ron Burkle.

STORY: Ryan Kavanaugh Lawyer Threatens New Yorker Over 'Egregious' Ron Burkle Profile  

The article suggests that Kavanaugh could be replaced by Harvey Weinstein. Relativity’s attorney, Carol Genis, on Monday said in a letter to New Yorker editor David Remnick and writer Connie Bruck that the article is a "false and malicious" attack "loaded with numerous statements of fact which are false and defamatory."

In an interview with THR, Kavanaugh denied that Burkle has control of his company and other points in the article. It appears from the email below that Burkle is attempting to smooth over his relationship with Kavanaugh. 

STORY: Ron Burkle Reveals Increased Influence at Relativity Media 

THR has as yet received no response to requests for comment from Burkle or Kavanaugh. The New Yorker did issue a statement in response to the Kavanaugh letter as well as to the Burkle email which reads, "We stand by our story, which is the result of months of reporting by the award-winning journalist Connie Bruck, including interviews with numerous sources close to the deals described."

Below is the email from Burkle to Kavanaugh.

Ryan,

It was clear from the start that Connie Bruck wanted to write about you. I told her we won't comment about any investments. We specifically told her that you have a private company and anything she wants to know she should ask you. The only color I gave her was that I like you, but it was a business deal.

The article is full of mistakes and misdirection...I have a five car garage not a 40 car garage....my worst year IRR was 8% and my best was 60%...not 2%...the mistakes and misquotes are endless.

Obviously you run your company, anyone who says otherwise has no idea about our governance or our relationship. Just as false is the statement that we got our equity from you for free.

A long time ago a friend told me articles like this are a successful person's tax....it's just part of life at our level.

I know it can be damaging to people who don't know you or the facts. Let me know if there is anything you need me to do.

Best regards,

Ron Burkle

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