Disgraced former NBCUniversal vice chair Ron Meyer has blown over $100million gambling, sources close to the Hollywood executive told DailyMail.com.
People close to the legendary former talent agent, who resigned this month over an affair with a young actress, described Meyer’s extreme high-rolling habits that saw him lose up to $7million in a single gambling trip and rack up millions in debt from unscrupulous casinos.
Meyer, 75, stepped down from his $25million-a-year role earlier this month after revealing he had an affair in 2012 with then 20-year-old British actress Charlotte Kirk and claiming that others had tried to extort him over the tryst.
But despite his huge salary, sources said he is now fighting to secure a ‘golden parachute’ or he could face financial difficulties.
Former NBC executive Ron Meyer has blown over $100 million gambling, DailyMail.com can reveal
‘He would blow between $5million and $7million at Caesars,’ one source said, adding that the vice president of f marketing at Caesars Atlantic City would send a helicopter to take him to his casino
‘Ron Meyer is one of the biggest craps players ever. He has blown north of $100million in the years of his gambling. He’s gambled everywhere from Las Vegas to Atlantic City,’ a source told DailyMail.com.
‘He would stay at the penthouse suite at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York while on business, and the vice president of marketing at Caesars Atlantic City would send a helicopter to take him to his casino.
Meyer was forced to step down earlier this month after blackmailers sent a draft lawsuit to NBCUniversal detailing his affair with actress Charlotte Kirk
‘He would blow between $5million and $7million at Caesars. Once he exhausted his credit line there, the VP would take him to Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut where he would blow $3-5million as well at each place.’
A source said that in binge after binge, Meyer would empty his own sizable wallet, then go to casino executives for loans of up to $3million to keep playing.
‘It’s really not a nice thing to do, because the gambler is in heat and wants that money, but if you really care about your player, you send him home,’ the source said. ‘Don’t let him go in a losing streak and lose more money.
‘But it shows you how reckless the gambler is and how the people in the industry don’t give a s**t. Because they’re getting paid commissions on what you lose. So they want to take as much money as possible from you.
‘In a single trip to all these casinos he could blow up to $10million if things went bad. It’s a lot of money.’
A spokesperson for Meyer declined to comment.
One source told DailyMail.com Meyer was treated like a king when he visited the gambling resorts, with casino executives vying to take advantage of his lust for gambling.
‘He was probably in the top three most sought-after whales in the gaming industry. Everybody tried to get him to come play at their casinos,’ the source said.
‘They would give him hundreds of thousands of dollars of promotional chips and discounts of up to 20% on his losses.
‘He had access to the nicest suites in every casino. He got a helicopter picking him up in New York and flying him there. He’d have a stretch limousine whisk him to the casino.
‘But he didn’t really care about the accommodation. He was there to gamble.’
A source close to Meyer said the Hollywood legend, who co-founded top agency CAA, kept his giant gambling debts hidden from his family – until the truth came out in his split from his second wife Kelly Chapman (pictured together in 2017)
The Hollywood legend’s gambling habits have been previously mentioned in biographies of his fellow Hollywood scions.
CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz wrote in his memoir that Meyer twice asked him for the company’s help to pay off a $5million and a $6.5million loan.
And according to James Miller, author of Powerhouse: The Inside Story of CAA, Meyer was ‘once in the hole for several million dollars’ of gambling debts to mobsters in the 1980s and 1990s.
‘This wasn’t some casino on the strip,’ Miller wrote in his 2016 book. ‘The ‘guys’ Meyer was on the hook to only swam in the deep end of the pool.’
The author said the only reason Meyer got out of one late-night meeting with the loan sharks with ‘both legs operative, genitalia intact’, was that he got a loan from Ray Stark, producer of hit films The Way We Were and The Goodbye Girl.
A source told DailyMail.com that Meyer’s financial solvency now hangs in the balance as he negotiates an exit deal with NBCUniversal – which had previously had him under contract through next year.
‘That has significantly affected his life. It’s stress, it’s pressure every day’.
‘Meyer was probably in the top three most sought-after whales in the gaming industry. Everybody tried to get him to come play at their casinos,’ a source said
A source close to Meyer said the Hollywood legend, who co-founded top agency CAA, kept his giant gambling habits hidden from his family – until the truth came out in his split from his second wife Kelly Chapman.
Warner Bros chief Kevin Tsujihara was fired last year after interactions with Kirk became public
‘When he finally filed for divorce his wife had no idea he was blowing this money,’ the source said. ‘He had to sell his $125million dream house in Malibu. It wreaked havoc in his life.
‘In the divorce settlement his wife asked for a forensic accounting, because she thought he was hiding the money. But he wasn’t hiding the money, he just blew it.’
A friend of the Hollywood executive said his wife suspected something was wrong when Meyer began selling his assets – including a Mark Rothko painting he had purchased for $900,000 which turned out to be a forgery.
The source said the gambling debts have put strain on Meyer’s relationship with his family, already in turmoil after he admitted to cheating on his second wife.
The 75-year-old Hollywood executive began an affair with British actress Charlotte Kirk, then aged 20, after meeting her in 2012.
At the time he was still married to Chapman, who filed for divorce in 2018.
In his resignation statement from NBCUniversal Meyer said he was forced to sign a settlement with Kirk to keep his ‘very brief and consensual affair’ quiet, after Kirk’s boyfriend and ex-boyfriend allegedly threatened him with lawsuits that would publicly reveal the tryst and smear the company.
Meyer said he sought help from the FBI over the alleged extortion, but the two men have denied the claims.
Kirk was also involved in the downfall of another top movie executive only months earlier: former Warner Bros. boss Kevin Tsujihara was ousted after their 2013 affair was revealed in March last year.