Pretty Woman Producer: I Was an Israeli Spy

Arnon Milchan admits he led double life

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2013 10:22 AM CST

(Newser) – The producer of hits including Pretty Woman, Fight Club, and LA Confidential has confirmed a rumor that's been floating around Hollywood for years: He did, indeed, lead a double life. In an interview with an Israeli TV program yesterday, Arnon Milchan revealed he was an Israeli spy for years, according to the AP and the Guardian. Among his clandestine missions: negotiating arms deals and helping to buy tech for nuclear bombs. "I did it for my country and I'm proud of it," Milchan says. "Do you know what it's like to be a 20-something-year-old kid [and] his country lets him be James Bond? Wow! The action! That was exciting."

He adds that other Hollywood VIPs were somehow connected: "When I came to Hollywood, I detached myself completely from my physical activities to dedicate myself to what I really wanted—filmmaking. [But] sometimes it gets mixed up." He adds that his past sometimes made things difficult for him: "In Hollywood, they don't like working with an arms dealer, ideologically … Instead of someone talking to me about a script, I had to spend half an hour explaining that I'm not an arms dealer." An unauthorized biography claimed two years ago that Milchan worked for Israel's since-disbanded Bureau of Scientific Relations or "Lekem," which gathered information for secret defense programs. Turns out he was apparently recruited to the bureau in the 1960s; it was closed in 1987.

Producer Arnon Milchan, left, and actor Jason Alexander pose together at the 'From Vision to Reality' event celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the state of Israel in Los Angeles on Sept. 18, 2008.
Producer Arnon Milchan, left, and actor Jason Alexander pose together at the 'From Vision to Reality' event celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the state of Israel in Los Angeles on Sept. 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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