The acclaimed Hollywood producer behind hits like Pretty Woman and Fight Club has admitted to leading a double life as an Israeli spy.
Arnon Milchan told an Israeli prime time news channel yesterday that he served as an Israeli spy for a number of years and admitted to buying arms and assisting his country’s nuclear programme.
He also said other big Hollywood names were involved.
Milchan’s most recent projects include Runner Runner starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck and The Internship starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
According to an unauthorised biography published two years ago, Milchan worked for Israel’s now-defunct Bureau of Scientific Relations, known as Lekem, which worked to obtain information for secret defence programs. The bureau was disbanded in 1987 after it was implicated in the spying affair for which Jonathan Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy, was sentenced to life in prison.
Milchan also says other big Hollywood names were connected to his covert affairs.
‘When I came to Hollywood I detached myself completely from my physical activities to dedicate myself to what I really wanted – filmmaking,’ he said. ‘(But) sometimes it gets mixed up.’
The 68-year-old Milchan owns New Regency Films and has produced more than 120 movies since the 1970s, working closely with directors such as Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski, Sergio Leone and Oliver Stone. He forged an especially close relationship with Robert De Niro, who along with actors Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, is featured in Uvda’s broadcast.
‘I had heard but I wasn’t sure,’ De Niro said, of Milchan’s activities. ‘I did ask him once and he told me that he was an Israeli and of course he would do these things for his country.’