The Hollywood producer behind box office hits including Fight Club, Pretty Woman and LA Confidential has spoken about his life as an Israeli secret agent and arms dealer, saying he was proud of working for his country.
Arnon Milchan gave a lengthy interview to the Israeli documentary programme Uvda, broadcast on Monday on Channel 2, confirming claims made earlier in an unauthorised biography that he worked for an Israeli agency that negotiated arms deals and supported Israel's secret nuclear weapons project.
Milchan, who was born in Israel, was recruited as a young businessman to the Bureau of Scientific Relations – known by its Hebrew acronym, Lakam – by Shimon Peres, now Israel's president, in the 1960s. The bureau, which worked to obtain scientific and technical information for secret defence programmes, closed in 1987.
Milchan, 68, is the chairman of New Regency Productions, which has produced more than 120 Hollywood movies since the 1970s, working with actors and directors such as Robert de Niro, Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski, Oliver Stone, Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck.
Arnon Milchan reveals past as Israeli spy
When I first saw this story earlier on the television (CNN, to be precise), it reminded me of Chuck Barris, and apparently, I'm not alone. The Beeb itself made the same connection:
In his 1984 book, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, game-show creator Chuck Barris (The Dating Game, The Gong Show) claimed to be a CIA hit man. He is routinely asked to verify, or deny, this claim - though he never has.
Arnon Milchan: Hollywood producer's starring role as 'spy'