At 12:10 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2013, Australian billionaire James Packer texted a 21-year-old British actress named Charlotte Kirk.
Kirk had been laboring to establish herself in Hollywood with limited success, but now Packer, who was a partner with director Brett Ratner in the film production/finance company RatPac Entertainment, was saying she was about to catch a major break.
“I have the opportunity of a lifetime for u,” Packer wrote in a text message reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter. “Come to [the Hotel] Bel air now. U will never be able to pay me.” He promised an introduction to “the most important man u can meet.” Kirk quickly agreed to the rendezvous.