Ex-Hollywood Columnist Reaches Deal

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(AP) A former Hollywood society columnist investigated for receiving fraudulent film and TV credits in order to qualify for union benefits has reached a confidential settlement with the Screen Actors Guild, his publicist said.

The Hollywood union determined that George Christy, who wrote for The Hollywood Reporter, did perform in enough films to deserve a level of health and pension benefits for some of his roles. Bruce Dow, director of pension and health benefits for SAG, confirmed the settlement, but said he could not disclose details.

The agreement was reached about two months ago, but neither Christy nor SAG made a public announcement, said Howard Bragman, Christy’s spokesman, on Thursday. “He has retained his pension and health benefits and I don’t think anyone has ever confirmed any wrongdoing,” Bragman said.

Christy was suspended from his writing job nearly a year ago after the Screen Actors Guild began investigating the allegations. The columnist wrote “The Great Life,” a column about Hollywood parties and celebrities, in the entertainment trade publication for nearly 26 years. He resigned in October after five months of suspension during the investigation.

The columnist had moonlighted as an actor, with bit parts in “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “Fallen Arches,” and “Seven.”

Christy consistently denied wrongdoing, saying his credits were all legitimate. He conceded, however, that a few of his scenes were cut by editors.

He now writes for the Nob Hill Gazette in San Francisco and frequently appears as a commentator on Canadian television, Bragman said.

The Hollywood Reporter is owned by VNU USA, which also owns E&P.

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