Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Mariah Carey’s Broken Engagement to James Packer Brings Divorce for Hollywood Financiers


This should be a lesson to everyone out there: don’t mix business and pleasure.

Director-producer Brett Ratner probably thought it was a great idea when he introduced his business partner, James Packer, to his great friend Mariah Carey. A romance developed, and the superstar singer became engaged to the billionaire sometime Scientologist from Australia.

Ratner and Packer, along with Steve Mnuchin, had formed a company called RatPac. They were financing most of Warner Bros.’ film slate and having a lot of success. But no one probably thought, what if the love affair between Mariah and Packer goes south?

Well, it did. And today it was announced that Rat and Pac have divorced. Packer’s part of RatPac has been bought by Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries. Blavatnik already owns Warner Music. Now he’s financing Warner Bros. studio movies. (The two Warners are separate companies.)

Mnuchin, who helped get Donald Trump elected president, is already out. He’s Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury. Now Packer is out, too, which is probably just as well. Packer was long associated with Scientology. Then with Ratner and Carey, it was thought he was out.

But you’re never “out” with Scientology if you have money. Last year he hired former Scientology celebrity wrangler (and still member of the cult) Tommy Davis to be his right hand man. This was a signal that the cult wanted Packer back in the fold. Who knows? Maybe now that he’s apart from mainstream Hollywood he’ll start funding Scientology’s movies. Their film company, called United Pictures, is run by Tom Cruise’s former assistant and BFF Michael Doven.

Blavatnik is a welcome relief in the RatPac saga. They could change the name of the company now to RatNik. Or Blatner. Either way, it’s a win win.

As for Mariah, she’s still BFF with Ratner. And she’s lucky to have escaped Packer before Scientology tried to shake her down.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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