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Veteran Hollywood executive and producer Adam Fields sexually harassed women while he was serving in various capacities at Relativity Media from 2010 to 2016, according to multiple people who shared their accounts with The Hollywood Reporter.
Three women — a lawyer, a prominent screenwriter and a junior executive — told similar stories that include being touched inappropriately, sexually propositioned and subjected to lewd behavior by the onetime co-president of production.
THR also has viewed several legal documents stemming from a lawsuit filed by Fields against former CEO Ryan Kavanaugh in January. The documents reference two assistants who are not among the people THR spoke with and who complained internally about being sexually harassed by Fields during his five-month stint as Relativity co-president. The conduct described in the documents ranged from unwanted touching to inappropriate sexual comments to streaming X-rated material on his phone in public areas of the company’s Beverly Hills offices. According to the documents, one major talent agency said it would no longer work with Fields at the time.
Unlike most of the other sexual harassment claims sweeping Hollywood over the past month, these allegations come at a time when the accused and his former employer are locked in ongoing litigation, which Fields’ lawyer Dale Kinsella referenced in response to the claims. However, of the three women THR talked to, only one is involved in that suit.
It was on the 2010 set of Limitless that screenwriter and producer Leslie Dixon says she endured Fields’ aggressive overtures. Fields, 62, whose film credits date back to 1981’s Endless Love and include producing Great Balls of Fire! and, more recently, The Wedding Ringer, had been hired by Relativity to run production on the Bradley Cooper starrer.
It started with Fields’ unsolicited touching, says Dixon, which she tried to deflect, followed by lascivious remarks. One day, with multiple witnesses on hand, Fields suggested that Dixon needed a sex toy. She immediately walked off the Times Square set, called her CAA agent and lawyer and complained, she says. Her agent was able to insulate Dixon from further contact with Fields on the set.
“It all happened,” Dixon says of the incident. “My agent was brave. But no one inside Relativity wanted to be the one to call Ryan Kavanaugh. So Adam wasn’t entirely banned from the set.”
Instead, Fields went on to oversee and executive produce other Relativity movies including Safe Haven and Masterminds, even as at least one other studio was trying to keep him from visiting its set (in an ironic twist, it was The Weinstein Co.).
In 2012, Miramax’s Richard Nanula — who later became engulfed in scandal after stills from a sex tape he purportedly starred in with a porn actress surfaced online — handpicked Fields to oversee production on Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, a film that was distributed by The Weinstein Co. Although Fields received an executive producing credit on Sin City 2, sources say there were concerns about him visiting the Austin, Texas, set of the film directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller because of a reputation for unprofessional behavior that stretched back to Sixteen Candles in 1984.
But that didn’t stop Fields from inviting cast and crew to friend and Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis’ compound in Mexico, which he used as his own, according to one member of the producing team. Another source says Miramax received complaints about Fields’ behavior and eventually severed his freelance relationship with the studio.
Still, Fields remained in good standing with Kavanaugh and in April 2016 was hired as Relativity’s co-president of production. Not long after, junior-level executive Melissa Philipian began having repeated run-ins with Fields.
“At first, he would just be sly about and say, ‘I can really move you up the ranks if you want to be in this movie business,'” says Philipian, who worked in the studio’s sports and music division. “At first, he wasn’t so overt with it. And then, it was a couple of weeks before I left, he came to me and basically told me if I went to his house and had sex with him, I could be moved up high at Relativity. I told him I was not interested.”
When asked if she reported the incident at the time, the then-junior-level executive said she didn’t.
“I didn’t notify anyone because I loved my job,” says Philipian, who no longer works at Relativity. “He was one of my bosses, and I didn’t want to rock the boat. There were other women whom he was doing this to, and I just felt like I didn’t want to lose my job or get in trouble over saying something. I just kept it to myself even though I knew other people were talking about how creepy he was and all the things he was saying to them. I was clearly not the only one.”
A third woman, a lawyer for the company who asked that her name not be revealed, also says she had unnerving encounters with the executive.
“What I can tell you is Adam had unwanted physical contact with me,” says the attorney, who asked to remain anonymous. “It was unwelcome and invaded my personal space, and it made me feel very uncomfortable, particularly because he was my superior.”
Kinsella, Fields’ lawyer, says in a statement: “Mr. Fields categorically denies all the allegations. This is an obvious attempt by some at Relativity to intimidate Mr. Fields and destroy his reputation. It seems hardly coincidental that these stories from unnamed sources are surfacing in the press just now, a few days after Mr. Fields concluded presenting evidence in an arbitration in which he seeks millions of dollars in damages against Relativity and Ryan Kavanaugh for fraud and breach of contract.”
But the Fields accusers say they decided to speak up now in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which has prompted women across the industry to recount stories about powerful men harassing women with impunity. Film producers, many of whom spend their careers traveling the world on movie shoots and attending film festivals and other events, often are placed in situations where they can abuse power with little professional oversight.
Fields exited Relativity in September 2016, after the troubled studio had emerged from bankruptcy protection.
“We took swift and immediate action upon learning of these horrific allegations, launched an investigation and terminated him shortly thereafter,” a Relativity spokesperson says in a statement.
Since his termination, Relativity and Fields have been battling it out in court. On Nov. 2, Relativity filed a suit against Fields that claims trade libel, interference with prospective economic relations and common law unfair competition. The suit claims that Fields was fired for cause in 2016, but five months later he approached a producer and falsely represented that he could negotiate distribution rights on behalf of Relativity. The suit goes on to claim that Fields quoted uncompetitive terms, which prompted the producer to opt for another distributor. The film was subsequently released with another distributor and was successful. Relativity is being represented by attorney Neville Johnson.
One former male staffer who declined to be named said several Relativity women not included in the five above, and one non-employee who did business with the studio, complained to him about Fields on separate occasions for popping up on their Facebook pages, posting comments about their figures and making inappropriate verbal remarks about both sex and drugs in the office. He said Fields would talk about his penchant for hookers openly in front of women in the workplace. Fields is said to have asked the male staffer to join him on a trip to Cuba.
“He wanted to go to Cuba specifically for the hookers,” he says. “He also was showing me naked pictures on his phone of some girl he was supposedly dating. This was in the executive commissary at Sony. Even as a guy, he made me very uncomfortable.”
Another former male staffer says Fields frequently talked crudely about a young female executive who is the daughter of a high-profile figure in the film industry.
“We were all working late nights, and he would rub the shoulders of a young executive and kiss her,” he says. “It was uncomfortable for me. He would talk about his sexual exploits in front of everyone, including women. He would show photos of nude women on his phone in front of women, who were all aghast.”
Fields began his career at CAA in the late 1970s. He then joined PolyGram Pictures, becoming executive vp production at the age of 24 and working with principals Jon Peters and Peter Guber on a string of hits including An American Werewolf in London and Missing. Over the years, Fields worked or had deals at Universal and Fox, worked a second time for Peters and also produced nonstudio films like 2001’s Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Donnie Darko, which became a cult classic.
In 2010, he joined Miramax under the new ownership of Colony Capital to mine the library of Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s former company. Sin City was one of the films he targeted for sequel treatment. In 2014, he became a Sony-based producer and special consultant and received a producer credit on the studio’s Kevin Hart starrer The Wedding Ringer. He most recently executive produced Broad Green’s Bad Santa 2, another film spawned from the Miramax/Dimension library.
Even in interviews with journalists, Fields has come across as unfiltered in his sexually charged language. In James Andrew Miller’s 2016 book Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency, Fields offered a number of anecdotes from his days at CAA including calling in a bomb threat to an airline in an effort to keep a film from imploding and musing about where the film’s missing producer might be. He is quoted as saying: “‘Where’s that producer?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. Wherever producers go when they’re fired. He’s probably in a hotel room with two hookers.'”
According to Fields’ IMDb Pro page, he has a film in development with Sony titled Big Stone Grid and an untitled Jerry Lee Lewis project with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. But a rep for Sony said it has no projects in the works with Fields.
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