Ruskis in Hollywood

Remington Chase and Stefan Martirosian, two of Hollywood's hottest new producers, recently invited an LA Weekly writer named Gene Maddaus to a meeting at Urth cafe. Their latest film, Lone Survivor, was about to premiere and the two wanted to kill a story that Maddaus was writing about their allegedly sordid backgrounds. They could explain everything and even brought along a publicist to help. If Maddaus would just kill the story, the two producers could guarantee "unprecedented access" to film sets. Needless to say, Maddaus didn't kill the story, and his investigation, uncovering links to diamonds, drugs and eastern European hitman, might be one of the most riveting exposes of the year.

Throughout the conversation, Maxine Leonard, the publicist, has been quiet, occasionally looking down at her phone. But as the conversation progresses, her eyes grow wider and wider. Finally, she simply has to interrupt.

"Can I just stop right here?" she asks, in a very polite British accent. "This is all just kind of incredible, amazing stuff. You don't want any of this — nobody wants any of what I've been listening to for the last 30 minutes, anywhere in any kind of like print story about you guys being involved in Hollywood making movies."

They try to allay her worries, but she is not kidding around.

"Any of this stuff coming out," she says, "is horribly damaging."

How these two Russian criminals went from smuggling cocaine to investing hundreds of millions of dollars into big budget Hollywood movies would probably make a good... Movie?

"Drugs, Diamonds, International Intrigue — You Won't Believe Two Hollywood Producers' Crazy Backstory" by Gene Maddaus (LA Weekly, Jan 2 2014)