The Hollywood Madam saga took another sordid swipe at the film industry Wednesday as police arrested producer/director Ivan Nagy on charges of running his own call-girl ring for clients in the biz.
Nagy, 55, a former boyfriend of alleged Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss — who will be arraigned Monday on charges of running a separate prostitution service — was charged with “pandering,” according to Los Angeles PoliceDept. spokesman Glenn Ackerman.
Ackerman said Nagy was running a ring of 15 to 20 girls, some of whom were would-be actresses.
Ackerman said detectives in a search of Nagy’s house also recovered lists of names of “individuals of substance” in the film community, which could send more Hollywood execs scurrying for cover.
“The common denominator is money,” Ackerman said. “They’re individuals of substance from all walks of life, including the film business.”
Meanwhile, Columbia Pictures’ embattled production chief Michael Nathanson continued to disavow any links to Fleiss, leaving industry insiders wondering why his denials were so emphatic.
Nathanson’s lawyer, Howard L. Weitzman, could not be reached for comment, but he told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday that his client had “not done anything that should cause any concern on behalf of Columbia. … It’s time he confront the rumors, put them to bed and get on with his life.”
Nathanson had been reported to be on his way out as Col’s production chief (Daily Variety, Aug. 4) ever since the disastrous financial showing of “Last Action Hero,” a pic that reportedly cost more than $ 90 million and has grossed only $ 47.5 million to date. But some say his exit may have been hastened by the link to Fleiss.
Studio sources placed former Warner Bros. veep of production Lisa Henson, who is expected to join Colpix this week, as Nathanson’s replacement.
Industry sources said Col will likely shift Nathanson, 37, to an exec veep slot. Nathanson recently signed a three-year extension on his Colpix contract.
Fleiss maintained earlier this week that Nathanson was not a client, though Nagy had introduced them. Nonetheless, industry buzz wondered why the exec went to such great lengths to deny any involvement.
An exec at another studio said the press had badgered Nathanson into making a statement.
Police spokesman Ackerman said there was no apparent link between Nagy’s ring and Nathanson.