Ron Meyer Resigns as NBCUniversal Vice Chairman After Disclosing Affair and Extortion Attempt

Ron Meyer
Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP Images

Ron Meyer is stepping down as vice chairman of NBCUniversal after disclosing that he reached a private settlement with a woman who tried to extort him after they engaged in an extramarital affair.

It’s an embarrassing end to Meyer’s more than two-decade-long run at the entertainment giant. Meyer, a founder of CAA, rose to power at the studio and held onto it for far longer than most executives keep a grip on the reins in large part because of his deep relationships with A-list actors, filmmakers, and industry movers and shakers. News of his ouster has left many employees at the Burbank-based film and television studio deeply shaken and upset.

In a statement, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said Meyer had behaved “in a manner which we believe is not consistent with our company policies or values.”

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my departure from NBCUniversal,” Meyer said in a statement. “I recently disclosed to my family and the company that I made a settlement, under threat, with a woman outside the company who had made false accusations against me. Admittedly, this is a woman I had a very brief and consensual affair with many years ago. I made this disclosure because other parties learned of the settlement and have continuously attempted to extort me into paying them money or else they intended to falsely implicate NBCUniversal, which had nothing to do with this matter, and to publish false allegations about me.”

It is unclear if Meyer will be replaced at NBCUniversal. Even though the woman was not an employee of NBCUniversal, Meyer appeared to have run afoul of internal policies because he failed to disclose that the company was being threatened as part of his ongoing legal issues. His dismissal is effective immediately.

“I’ve spent 25 years helping to grow and support an incredible company in a job I love,” Meyer said in a statement. “It is the people at this company that I will miss the most. I regret what has happened and I am sorry for all the people in my life I may have let down, especially and most importantly, my family.”

Meyer is leaving at a time of major upheaval for NBCUniversal. Earlier this month, the company underwent a sprawling corporate overhaul that streamlined its network and direct-to-consumer businesses. As part of that shakeup, NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy was pushed out amid allegations of professional misconduct that included racist, sexist and homophobic behavior.