Way back in June, former enfant terrible turned fortysomething terrible Bret Easton Ellis touched a dangerous third rail by tweeting about famous recluse/showbiz blogger Nikki Finke and now it's become a big ol' Hollywood fight with pricey lawyers. It all started on June 23 when Ellis mentioned where she lives. Or more accurately, he gave a clue to where she might live. He tweeted: "I'm not sure if this is good news or bad news but I just found out that Nikki Finke lives in the same building as I do in West Hollywood..." So, no specifics, and even though Ellis has over 300,000 followers, his tweet went mostly unnoticed. Until last week, that is. That's when Gawker muckraker John Cook noticed the tweet and did some digging, tracking down Ellis' West Hollywood building and finding an apartment that had was purchased by Finke's employer, the cobbled together media company Penske Media. Hm, could the notoriously guarded Finke have had her employer buy her condo so her name wouldn't be associated with the property? Yeah, that seems feasible. But it's still no proof. Eager to find an answer, Cook emailed Finke last Thursday, twice even, but never heard back. Though, somebody else heard!
Last Friday, the day after Cook's email to Finke, Ellis sent out another tweet saying, "Anyone in the movie industry who fears they have to 'watch out' for Nikki Finke is a complete and total old-school fucking Hollywood loser." Strong words! A bit later, Ellis elucidated his point: "Nikki Finke called one of the agencies that reps me and threatened to sue me AND to destroy them as well. Fortunately the agency was ICM." Uh oh. Finke, possessed of a famously short and rageful temper, was apparently going nuclear over the potential threat to her privacy.
That Ellis tweet did get some immediate notice. How bad was her freakout to ICM? Pretty bad, according to The New York Observer's Foster Kamer, who started asking questions and found out from sources that when Finke tried to reach Ellis' book agent Amanda “Binky” Urban she instead got her assistant, and pretty viciously lit into the unsuspecting underling. "Epic" and "otherworldly" were the words Kamer used to describe the tirade. The poor assistant, probably not used to being screamed at by hermit bloggers, was likely more than a little shaken.
The whole dumb mess — Twitter! Bloggers! Agent assistants! — was entertaining for spectators of these sorts of things and could have ended there, but oh no. (That we're talking about two fairly unlikable people here makes this whole thing both uglier and more entertaining, doesn't it? Like Mothra vs. Rodan.) Whatever she did to enact her wrath, ICM wasn't happy with it. The news today is that the agency has hired a team of lawyers to deal with Finkegate, and that they have already fired off a couple of letters demanding that Finke stop harassing ICM employees. The letters allege that Finke has threatened to write damaging things about the agency if they refuse to sever ties with Ellis, though a representative for Penske tells The Hollywood Reporter that there "is absolutely no validity to any of the claims that have been alleged in the letters."
So this feud isn't over, folks! It's been a while since we've stood back and watched Nikki Finke go real supernova, and we'd forgotten how fun it can be. And that it involves pesky, pretentious Twitter scourge Bret Easton Ellis makes it even sweeter. Of course we feel bad for any helpless ICM employees who've gotten the shrieking end of the stick, though how bad can you really feel for people who work at a talent agency? We've seen Entourage! We know they're all jerks. Everyone here is a jerk. And that's what's so fun about it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.