Chris Albrecht, who turned HBO into a titan with mega-hits "Sex and the City" and "The Sopranos," was fired yesterday in the aftermath of an arrest for choking his girlfriend outside the MGM Grand in Vegas. A temporary leave was announced after Sunday's altercation, but Albrecht was forced out after the LA Times revealed an earlier violent incident HBO had kept quiet.
In 1991 HBO paid a half-million-dollar settlement to an employee and love interest of Albrecht's after he "shoved and choked" her at the channel's West Coast Offices, the Times reported. In spite of his infractions, Albrecht was respected among staff. "It's very, very painful for everyone," said Carolyn Strauss, president of HBO entertainment.