Nikki Finke and Ari Emanuel: Lover’s Spat or Divorce?

The Deadline editor and founder posted a vulgar screed against WME head Ari Emanuel — with whom she’d had good relations

Last Updated: July 27, 2011 @ 5:54 PM

In a posting that was vituperative even by Nikki Finke's furious standards, Finke blasted WME's Ari Emanuel last week.

"We all know that Ari Emanuel is an asshole, but we also thought he was at least a smart asshole," she wrote, referring to the fact that Emanuel's decision to back out of a building contract in Beverly Hills could aparently cost the agency millions.

But please: mere stupidity would not normally disturb this love nest. What can be afoot between Finke and Emanuel?

For years now Nikki has been regarded as Ari's opposite number on direct dial, the go-to blogger-stenographer that he effectively used in the takeover of William Morris, and that Finke used to cement her status as Hollywood dominatrix.

Emanuel has been known to be a steady source of Deadline news scoops ever since.

(By the way, TheWrap broke the story of the building dispute two years ago. Read it here.)

Tongues are wagging that all is not well. "They're on the outs," one insider told TheWrap last week.

The feeling around Hollywood is that Finke (pictured, right) was angry because "The Hollywood Reporter" beat her on a story about a real estate dispute having to do with the agency.

Finke has been especially angry at THR lately: Her site's publisher, Lynne Segall, left for the outlet in June.

Also read: Jilted! Nikki Finke Blasts Lynne Segall as She Exits for THR, Segall Confused

When she did, Finke published a scathing post about her.

The post about Ari went on that he backed out of the building, but didn't need the space he was in:

"But then Emanuel started firing people left and right. Voilà, space galore. (No matter the human cost and lives destroyed…)"

WME declined to discuss the brouhaha.

Since Friday's angry posting, Finke hasn't written about WME. Her website, however, posted an item about the agency signing a director. It didn't call Emanuel anything at all.

Whether that was an indication of detente remains to be seen.