UPDATED: A producer of the HBO drama pilot “The Deuce” has been questioned by New York City police in connection with the death of a 38-year-old woman on Sunday in Manhattan, according to published reports.
By Tuesday evening Johnson had stepped away from the project. Earlier in the day exec producer David Simon said he remained attached.
Marc Henry Johnson was questioned and released by police after 38-year-old Kiersten Cerveny was found unconscious at 8:32 a.m. Sunday morning in the vestibule of an apartment building on 16th Street in the Chelsea area of Manhattan, according to a report in the New York Post. According to the Post, Johnson had spent the previous night with Cerveny, a dermatologist who was married with three children.
The Post reported that surveillance footage allegedly shows Johnson and another man carrying an unconscious Cerveny down the stairs of the building and dropping her in the vestibule. According to the Post, Johnson called 911 but left before paramedics arrived.
Cerveny was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly thereafter. NYPD spokesman Sgt. Lee Jones said the investigation is ongoing and the cause of death is being determined by the city’s medical examiner. Jones would not comment on the identities of the men who were with Cerveny at the time, saying “we don’t put out the names of potential witnesses.”
“The Deuce,” from “The Wire” creator David Simon, is a story of the rise of the porn business in 1970s and ’80s New York. Johnson was described as being “instrumental” in documenting the story in HBO’s announcement of the pilot order in August. The pilot is set to begin lensing in New York City next week.
Simon would not comment on the situation. “Can’t and wouldn’t comment otherwise as press reports have been amorphous, inconsistent and contradictory and the individual is involved in a legal matter,” Simon said via text message. “We will all know more when an accurate and complete narrative is revealed. All that said it is a tragedy for this woman and her family.”
HBO did not respond to a request for comment.