Former HBO Exec Chris Albrecth Recalls What Really Happened in Vegas

In the November GQ Magazine profile piece “Violence, Nudity, Adult Content”, Amy Wallace suggests that former HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht, now the CEO of Starz, “understands storytelling better than perhaps any other Hollywood executive.” That’s quite a claim.

So how strange it is to read that after Albrecht was arrested and briefly jailed in Las Vegas on May 6, 2007 for choking his then-girlfriend in a hotel parking lot, he chose not to put those considerable storytelling skills to use. Rather, in speaking for the first time publicly about the events that led to his HBO demise, he tells Wallace that he allowed colleague Jeff Bewkes and a team of crisis PR specialists to concoct a yarn about him having fallen off the wagon.

“I said those things in an effort to help keep my job,” Albrecht insists, adding that the maneuver was executed over the strong objections of his two daughters. “I was so ashamed that I just did what anybody told me to do.”

Some will believe this assertion by Albrecht; others will suspect that he went along more voluntarily with the narrative because he thought it had a real chance of succeeding. Either way, his comments to Wallace – shared in the Irish set trailer of Camelot star Joseph Fiennes – paint a picture that falls well short of the measure of a master storyteller.