Fired Universal Executive Josh Goldstine Kept Mistress on Payroll, Inquiry Found (Exclusive)

Former president of marketing hired the consultant to advise on Universal’s movies, three insiders say

Josh Goldstine Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures executive Josh Goldstine was fired after an internal inquiry found that he had employed a mistress as a consultant, insiders told TheWrap exclusively.

The reason for Goldstine’s firing from the studio — where he promoted films including “Jurassic World,” “The Mummy” and “Get Out” — has not been previously detailed. But three insiders said the inquiry found that the married former president of marketing hired the woman as a consultant to advise on Universal’s slate. One said the woman had also worked as a consultant for Goldstine in his previous role at Sony Pictures.

Goldstine and Universal Pictures had no comment.

Universal employees told investigators they were often confused about the woman’s role and unsure of what purpose she served, two of the individuals said.

Evidence of the relationship was uncovered during the three-week inquiry, the three insiders said, a previously announced probe into “inappropriate conduct.”

The studio announced it was investigating Goldstine on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day — the same day it dismissed an employee who reported to him, Seth Byers, who had also worked with Goldstine at Sony. Goldstine was fired March 7, after the investigation was completed.

One insider said Goldstine was dismissed without compensation and had four years left on his contract.

In a memo to staff at the time of Goldstine’s firing, film division president Donna Langley and chairman Jeff Shell said they had “no tolerance for harassment or other disrespectful behavior, and we will be taking any necessary steps to ensure that actions that violate our core values are dealt with swiftly and decisively.”

Goldstine spent two decades at Sony Pictures before he joined Universal in 2011 as president of domestic marketing. He was promoted in 2014 to oversee worldwide marketing.

In 2001, Sony suspended Goldstine and a second executive for 30 days without pay after they were found to have invented fictional critics to write gushing poster blurbs for films such as “Hollow Man” and “A Knight’s Tale.”