It seems life's only kind of a bitch for Eric Eisner, the upstart producer, son of Michael and brief profile subject in the new issue of Portfolio. On one hand, he's positioned to profit further from his producing debut, Hamlet 2, which sold at Sundance in January for $10 million and opens theatrically in August; then there's the whole Barry Diller-mentor thing and the handy commutes on Dad's private jet. Alas, he and fiancee Stacey Bendet received congratulatory pastries addressed to "STACEY AND MICHAEL," and worse yet, there is still no good news to report on Eisner's missing (and feared murdered) producing partner Leonid Rozhetskin.
We noted back in April that Rozhetskin, a lawyer/telecom baron in a not-too-distant former life, went missing after traveling to his home in Latvia. Blood matching his DNA was found, but neither Rozhetskin nor his plane were; while making plenty of friends in Hollywood, he'd apparently made even more enemies in the suspect Russian oligarchy. No biggie, Eisner decided after two years of talks:
Irwin Russell, the Eisner family's lawyer and a former Disney board member, vetted Rozhetskin and gave his okay. On January 18, 2006, Eric and Rozhetskin formed L&E Productions and started looking for projects.
Things for Rozhetskin quickly deteriorated. In June, IPOC International Growth Fund, a Bermuda-based investment firm, accused him of defrauding it of millions in a cell-phone deal. Rozhetskin retaliated in September 2006, filing a lawsuit in New York federal court. He claimed that IPOC was actually a money-laundering vehicle for Leonid Reiman, then Russia's telecommunications minister. He also claimed that Reiman had threatened his life and strong-armed Russian prosecutors into opening the criminal investigation. Less than a month after Rozhetskin filed the suit, Russian prosecutors charged him with fraud and placed him on the country's wanted list.
Under those circumstances, it's still anyone's guess how or why Rozhetskin wound up in Latvia while supposedly en route to Thailand. Meanwhile, Rozhetzkin's fantastic, model-clutching Flickr stream has been yanked ("Leonid Rozhetskin is no longer active on Flickr," visitors are eerily told; his still-active MySpace page was last updated two weeks before his disappearance). Portfolio reports that Eisner has closed his L&E Productions Web site, is working a Bill Graham biopic and may yet find his father among his investors. Talk about having your cake and eating it, too.