By Alan Duke
Sony execs were quick to slam President Obama today when he announced he wished the studio had consulted him about shelving the release of The Interview. But Hollywood-Washington relationships weren’t always so icy, RadarOnline.com has learned: Emails released in the leak show recent contact between Sony and the CIA.
According to uncovered emails, a high-ranking CIA agent visited the Los Angeles headquarters of Sony Pictures Entertainment weeks ago, before the company realized its entire computer system had been compromised by hackers the FBI links to North Korea.
Radar will not identify the name of the CIA operative because of national security considerations, but the document indicates the agent was hosted at Sony’s Culver City headquarters by the company’s security chief.
The e-mail did not indicate if the CIA official discussed North Korea’s demands that Sony not release The Interview — a comedy about the assassination of that country’s dictator.
It did confirm the CIA official sat with Sony Senior Vice President for Corporate Security Stevan Bernard in the company’s floor-side seats in the Staples Center to watch the Lakers and Clippers play on October 31, 2014 — less than one month before the major security breach.
This is just one indication of a close relationship between Sony execs and the U.S. government. Radar also found e-mails between Under Secretary of State Richard Stengel and Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Michael Lynton concerning the recruitment of filmmakers and musicians in efforts to fight the ISIS terror group in the Middle East. Other emails showed government agents asking Sony to recruit studio heads to combat terrorism.