I worked as an assistant to Ben Silverman (the new co-chief of the NBC network and television studio) at the William Morris talent agency in July of 1997.
He was always courteous. He was friendly. He was easy to work for.
He also got me fired.
During my time working for Ben, I got to know his female assistant in London (much of it after hours via email). She wanted to see the first chapter of my new book (a history of sex in film).
It was after I had finished my week working for Ben. On my own time, I emailed her a chapter to her email address.
Ben opened her email when she wasn’t around, printed out the chapter of my book, and jammed the printer. He threw a 30-minute telephone tirade the HR lady at William Morris who poured it back on to my temp agency. I was fired.
I remember Ben as a smooth operator. He apparently came from money. He loved the ladies. He loved to party. I remember him lining up get togethers at the Sky Bar on Sunset Bl.
Though few news outlets were willing to admit it, Nikki Finke, on her Deadline Hollywood blog, broke last week’s blockbuster news that producer Ben Silverman was taking over Kevin Reilly’s duties at NBC. Ms. Finke’s first post on Friday not only scooped the competition (whose initial hesitant stories on the matter made vague references to "online reports" breaking the news), but also sent the entire NBC dealmaking team into frantic overdrive through the Memorial Day weekend. NBC insiders were furious about both the leak and Ms. Finke’s "mean" comments about their executives during a difficult transition. Mr. Silverman called the weekend "hell" because of the unexpected report. "I hate the blog world," said Mr. Silverman, who Ms. Finke wrote had a "high-flyin’ lifestyle" and a private plane that served as his "moveable frat." Mr. Silverman’s take: "It ends up interfering with people’s lives. It messes with the process. And I’ve never been on a private plane!" Replied Ms. Finke: "In Hollywood, the truth hurts."