Nanula’s unexpected departure comes nearly two weeks after photos surfaced on TheDirty.com of a man the site identified as Nanula having sex with a “pornstar.” Two knowledgable individuals said the photos may have contributed to Nanula’s exit. The photos have since been removed from TheDirty.com but still remain on PornNewsToday.com.
One of those individuals also said that the Qatar Investment Authority – the sovereign wealth fund which helped back Colony’s acquisition of Miramax – has been frustrated that Miramax has not grown into more of an operating company.
Reps for Colony did not know when the leave of absence took effect, but a knowledgable individual told Variety that Nanula ankled the company last week.
“Richard Nanula has taken a leave of absence from Colony and Miramax for personal reasons” – Lisa Baker, a publicist with Owen Blicksilver PR, which reps Colony.
Baker would not comment on the photos or when Nanula had ankled the company, or planned to return.
The former Disney CFO joined Colony in 2008, and his ties to the Mouse House helped him lead Colony’s acquisition of Miramax two years later. Nanula has largely spearheaded Miramax since the departure of its former CEO Mike Lang in March of 2012.
Disney sold Miramax to the Colony/Miramax/QIA investment group for $663 million in 2010. The new owners quickly installed former News Corp. exec Mike Lang as CEO and began inking licensing deals that exploited Miramax’s some 700 titles. But the company largely shied away from production, leading many to wonder just how long Miramax’s management could continue to milk its library without adding new content.
But Miramax completed a major refinancing in 2011 that valued the company at more than $800 million. Nanula and the rest of Colony’s management hailed the transaction as a sign that Miramax did not not need to rush into original content production.
In March, Miramax made its first foray into production by teaming with GK Films and Martin Scorsese to create a TV series based on Scorsese’s 2002 film “Gangs of New York.”
Prior to joining Colony, Nanula served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Amgen, Inc. . From 1986 to 1998, Nanula held a number of senior executive positions at the Walt Disney Company before becoming senior exec vice president and chief financial officer.
Nanula’s apparent involvement in a sex scandal comes three months after Scott Sassa was hastily forced to resign as president of entertainment for Hearst Corp. after top executives were alerted to a sexting incident involving a stripper.