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  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 8:12am
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ESPIONAGE

Producer of Pretty Woman, Arnon Milchan, admits he's an Israeli spy

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 November, 2013, 2:32am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 November, 2013, 2:32am

Stories about Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan's alleged double life have been circulating for years.

Now the Israeli businessman behind hits such as Pretty Woman, Fight Club and L.A. Confidential has finally come forth with a stunning admission - for years he said he served as an Israeli spy, buying arms on the country's behalf and boosting its alleged nuclear programme.

In a far-reaching interview aired on Monday with Israel's Channel 2 TV's flagship investigative programme Uvda, Milchan detailed a series of clandestine affairs in which he was involved and particularly how he helped purchase technologies Israel allegedly needed to operate nuclear bombs.

"I did it for my country and I'm proud of it," said Milchan, who ran a successful fertiliser company in Israel before making it big in Hollywood.

Even there, he says he continued with his clandestine work while maintaining close ties with Israel's leadership.

According to an unauthorised biography published two years ago, Milchan worked for Israel's now-defunct Bureau of Scientific Relations, which worked to obtain information for secret defence programmes.

"When I came to Hollywood I detached myself completely from my physical activities to dedicate myself to what I really wanted - filmmaking," he said. "[But] sometimes it gets mixed up."

The 68-year-old Milchan founded the New Regency film company and has produced more than 120 movies since the 1970s, working closely with directors such as Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski, Sergio Leone and Oliver Stone.

He forged an especially close relationship with Robert De Niro, who, along with actors Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, is featured in Uvda's broadcast.

"I had heard but I wasn't sure," De Niro said, of Milchan's activities.

"I did ask him once and he told me that he was an Israeli and of course he would do these things for his country."

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