Legendary Television boss Chris Albrecht has been placed on administrative leave, individuals with knowledge of the matter confirmed to TheWrap.
No reason has been given for the company taking this action, nor has Legendary released a statement on the matter. However, the leave comes after news that an upcoming book about the history of HBO includes an allegation that Albrecht physically assaulted another HBO executive early during his tenure at the cable channel. “It’s Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution and Future of HBO” is written by Felix Gillette and John Koblin.
According to the book, in 1991, Albrecht tried to strangle Sasha Emerson, a former HBO executive with whom he’d had an affair. The book says she left the company and an unspecified settlement with the network was later reached.
The book includes a statement from Albrecht, who said that he “rejects and disagrees with the characterization of what occurred.” In a statement provided to media on Monday, he said, “After more than 30 years an old, flawed story is now being refurbished and recycled for the sake of sales. I have sincerely apologized to those whom I offended with disrespect and utterly unacceptable behavior. But that doesn’t sell books or generate media attention. Some things do indeed age well; but bad reporting does not.”
Albrecht was named Head of Legendary TV in February 2021 following his departure from Starz after a 10-year tenure with the channel.