Virginia gubernatorial candidate and famed political fundraiser Terry McAuliffe accepted cash from an entertainment industry executive with a history of violence towards women.
Starz CEO Christopher Albrecht contributed $2,500 to the McAuliffe campaign, according to a campaign finance report filed yesterday.
Albrecht was formerly the chairman and chief executive of Time Warner Inc.’s HBO but was forced to resign in 2007 after he was arrested and charged with assaulting his girlfriend in a Las Vegas parking lot following a boxing match at the MGM Grand Hotel.
According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Albrecht “grabbed his companion around the neck so hard that he left red marks, and that they had to physically break his grip to free her.”
Following the incident, the Los Angeles Times reported that this was not Albrecht’s first violent act against a woman during his time at HBO.
HBO made a settlement payment of $400,000 to $500,000 in 1991 to a subordinate of Albrecht’s who had allegedly been shoved and choked by him in his HBO office.
The woman, Sasha Emerson, was also romantically involved with Albrecht at the time.
According to those familiar with the situation, no police report or lawsuit was filed and HBO management worked to keep the incident a secret for 16 years.
Albrecht laid blame for the 2007 incident on a lapse of judgment and his return to alcohol in a message to HBO employees written upon his resignation, calling it a “wake-up call to me of a weakness I thought I had overcome long ago.”
“I had been a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 13 years,” wrote Albrecht. “Two years ago, I decided that I could handle drinking again. Clearly, I was wrong.”
Albrecht also contributed $3,400 to the Democratic Party of Virginia.
He has been a consistent donor to Democratic candidates and groups throughout his long career as a Hollywood executive, with almost the entirety of his $379,900 worth of political contributions going to the political left.