Hollywood producer Randell Emmett is known for producing low budget movies, most of which were critically panned. He found success with films like “The Irishman.” Some may recognize him for his role on the reality TV show “Vanderpump Rules.” Now, Emmett faces lawsuits and allegations of abuse against women and his former assistants. LA Times reporter Meg James helped uncover the accusation in her latest investigation with Amy Kaufman. She joined Lisa McRee on “LA Times Today.”
Emmett made a name for himself, producing films dubbed “geezer teasers.” James explained how he moved into more prestige productions.
“Twenty years ago, Emmett got a lot of success with some of these pictures and using big stars like Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson just for a few days of shooting them,” James said. “But having those big stars in their films allowed him to sell his movies overseas, and they were hugely successful. Along the way, he had ‘Lone Survivor,’ which was a Universal picture, and that sort of catapulted them into another realm of Hollywood. He ended up working with Martin Scorsese and ended up being a producer on ‘The Irishman.’”
James detailed some of the accusations against Emmett. The claims range from so-called casting couch propositions to sending unsolicited messages to women about sex and drugs.
“What was really surprising was that the allegation is that Randall would reach out to women just randomly, people he would find on Instagram, and then start pursuing them,” James said. “The refrain that we heard several times was that Randall would, allegedly, say, ‘Hey, I’m a movie producer, Google me. I’m somebody you’d want to know.’ [He did this to] random women, including this woman who we spoke to who encountered him when she was leaving a bar late one night in Studio City.”
There have been several lawsuits filed against Emmett. One of those lawsuits is connected to an alleged domestic dispute with his former fiancée, Lala Kent. There was another allegation of exploitation of Bruce Willis on Emmett’s sets, as the actor’s cognitive abilities declined. James said there are more than ten active lawsuits against Emmett.
James shared that Emmett is showing no signs of slowing down his career, even as allegations pile up.
“Randall has been able to recreate himself several times during his career,” James said. “And in one of the lawsuits that I was tracking, he testified that he was not going to be a producer of television and films, but that he is now going to be a director of films. Now he’s trying to recreate himself as a director. And just in the last couple of weeks, he finished a movie down in Georgia, and it stars John Travolta.”
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