Producer Steve Bing (born 3/31/65) is heir to a $600 million real estate fortune largely built by his grandfather Leo, who developed luxury apartment houses in New York in the 1920s. His father is Dr. Peter Bing, who worked on public health matters for the Johnson White House before moving to Los Angeles to attend to family business.
The Bing family has appeared on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans. The Bings donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Leo S. Bing Theater as well as Stanford University. Peter Bing was chairman of the board of trustees.
Steve Bing's friends include Dominic "Donny Shacks" Montemarano, a felon and onetime capo in the Mafia; shopping mall magnate Ron Burkle; Hollywoodites Rob Reiner, Warren Beatty, James Caan and William Goldman; and Dodger Chairman Bob Daly.
Steve attended the elite Los Angeles Harvard-Westlake private school. Before graduation, he'd written (with veteran sitcom writer Arthur Silver) his first screenplay, "Mising in Action." It became a Chuck Norris film that had a sequel.
Bing inherited his money on his 18th birthday. He dropped out of Stanford in his junior year to pursue Hollywood. He directed the 1993 erotic thriller "Every Breath" starring Judd Nelson. It received poor reviews and went straight to video.
From an Imdb.com review of Every Breath: "Dodgy plot, dodgy script, dodgy almost everything in fact. The most compelling performance is that of Joanna Pacula as Lauren, but even that does not rescue this pointless and nasty film."
Steve sold a number of projects to studios over the next decade. None of them were released.
His first project to get a studio release is tentatively called "Down and Under." It came from a story Bing heard as a teenager - a couple of childhood friends take mob money to Australia, only to lose it to a kangaroo. The script earned Bing and his co-writer Scott Rosenberg $1.4 million from Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Warner Brothers will release the film in early 1993.
In the early 1990s, Steve moved into the Hotel Bel-Air one night and stayed nine years.
In late 2001, English model Elizabeth Hurley announced that she was pregnant and that Bing was the father. Steve issued a news release claiming that the couple had not been in an exclusive relationship and that it was "her choice to be a single mother." Tabloids in Britain called Steve "Bing Laden" and a "spermicidal maniac."
According to Rachel Abramowitz's article in the 7/3/02 LA Times, Bing asked Hurley to terminate the pregnancy. She refused. He then asked her to go to counseling with him. She refused.
A DNA test shows that Bing is the father of Hurley's child.
Also in 2001, Bing sued Kirk Kerkorian for invasion of privacy after the billionaire's private eye took Bing's dental floss out of his trash can. Kerkorian was in a child support lawsuit with his ex-wife. Kirk wanted DNA evidence to prove that Bing was the father of his wife's daughter. The case has now been settled.
Bing has filed libel suits against tabloids in England and the U.S.. After giving millions of dollars to the UCLA school of medicine, Bing quit giving after UCLA honored Rupert Murdoch, who owns some of the tabloids following Bing.
Steve contributed $3.5 million to the 1998 Rob Reiner-led initiative Proposition 10 that imposed a 50-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund child-care and anti-tobacco programs for preschoolers. Bing has given over $7 million dollars to the Democratic Party and its politicos. Steve's pledged $25 million to Stanford University. He's pledged $10 million to the National Resources Defense Council's study of global warming.
Bing will soon close a deal with Warner Brothers. The studio pledges to release eight of his films that he will finance.
Steve Bing stands 6'4". He drives around in a '97 Lincoln. He likes to wear jeans and T-shirts. He likes strip clubs and dating models. He's been a big player in Las Vegas for years.
Sean Penn and Woody Allen have arrived at the altar for "Why Men Shouldn't Marry," a comedy that will mark the directorial debut of Steve Bing, whose Shangri-La shingle will finance the project. Warner Bros. will distribute worldwide, with shooting to begin in August in L.A. Penn plays a man who rebounds from a painful divorce by becoming an anti-marriage guru. He finds himself in conflict with Max (Allen), an oft-divorced man who remains wedded to the belief that a marriage can be successful.
Sources: Rachel Abramowitz, A PLAYER IN EVERY SENSE, LA TIMES, 7/3/02
As I reported in February: A Mafia soldier writes: "I met with an official and I told him about a meeting I had in a Manhattan Cafe. I was with some high ranking wiseguys, who are into bid-rigging construction projects. They were talking about getting a breather from the assault by the Feds on the Families. They were hoping that the War on Terror would help them. They said they would need another five to seven years to put everything back on track. The official told me they would get it. He told me that more and more resources are devoted to terror cases and less to major crimes.
"I was hanging out in a bar last night and my friends and I were discussing the presidential race. Clinton came up. We all laughed, because a friend of ours who is made and now [the Los Angeles] underboss [Tommy Gambino] gave Roger Clinton a 50,000 dollar check and a Rolex to help his father get a parole. His father who I know as Sal was a major player in the Pizza Connection and dumped tons of heroin on the streets of the US. It was all swept under the table.
"This is Dominic (Donnie Shacks) Montemarano [convicted Mafia killer] and Elizabeth Hurley. Donnie is bald with glasses. Moments after this they went into the theater and watched A Night at The Golden Eagle. This was on the Paramount Lot. Steve Bing was also there, Tommy Gambino and sister, Donnie, Uncle Artie and Vinnie A. This is right before the Roger Clinton scandal."
A Fly on the Wall writes: "It's curious ABC made no mention of where Bing got his money. They make it sound like his film producing made him wealthy. Not so. He received a whopping inheritance from his grandaddy, who also had quite a few shady business partners of his own. Bing has lost a lot more money than he has made producing in Hollywood. Bing's bodyguards -- and why does he need bodyguards? -- are big thuggy-looking goombas who look like they walked out of The Godfather. Bing is a bored little rich boy who likes to play writer/producer and also likes to hang around with moviestars and mobsters. He's the proverbial poor little rich boy who has to buy flashy friends because he's otherwise far too dull."
From the New York Post Aug 25, 2004: "ON July 30, we reported on a network news story which stated that Democratic Party top donor Steve Bing was the "business partner" of convicted organized crime figure Dominic Montemarano. The network has since issued a correction stating that the reference to "business partners" was due to an editing error. Montemarano merely acted in a movie Bing produced. We join the network in clarifying that no one is accusing Bing himself of any criminal wrongdoing or any involvement in Montemarano's criminal activity. Our apologies to Steve Bing."