Scott Sassa resigned as president of entertainment and syndication of Hearst Corp. last month, after a stripper he briefly sexted with and her boyfriend tried to blackmail him by sending his texts to senior Hearst execs. Sexting: the downfall of teenage girls and head honchos alike.
Now, Business Insider has the sexts that cost Sassa his career, which refer to MDMA (molly is his "best friend"), sex toys (only if she wants to use them!) and softcore sexting (a consistently considerate Sassa promises to "kiss you [sic] back slowly down your spine").
Undeniably juicy, yes. But Sassa was single. He was texting a consenting adult. There's no evidence that he ever even met up with Kira, the Los Angeles-based escort who helped her boyfriend blackmail him by threatening to go public via TMZ or Us Weekly if Hearst didn't step up. "It's my belief that entertaining [TMZ and US weekly's offers] would be a very bad thing for the reputation of the Hearst brands morally ethic values," one email to Hearst reads. "It would not bode well with the general public knowing these things about the president of such a powerful arm in the media."
He was right, which is why Sassa no longer works for Hearst. Which seems like a shame, because Sassa was great at his job; according to Variety, "there had been recent speculation that Sassa’s role was poised to grow at Hearst as the company is believed to be paving the way for a CEO transition in the near future."
"He was the smartest, most forward-thinking media executive I ever worked with," said one colleague. "He was taking Hearst into the 20th Century." [Note: we hope "20th century" is a typo? Or the company is really fucked.]
Who cares about innovation if Sassa was heavily involved in drug trafficking and consorting with underaged prostitutes, right? Except, based on what we know, he wasn't.
Three female sources told us that they had nothing but respect for Sassa, that they felt the texts were an aberration and not reflective of his day-to-day dealings with women. They noted that the texts occurred on Christmas Day, when Sassa — who lives in New York — was stuck in a Los Angeles hotel room without his family. "Here's a guy who was displaced around the holidays, who was kind of lonely," one told us.
Sure, he referred to some illegal activities. But he wasn't actually caught doing anything illegal. If every powerful person got canned for doing recreational drugs and texting with strippers off hours, we'd have a much higher unemployment rate. The Hearst execs who decided to let Sassa go definitely know that. We all know that. The number of Wall Street executives who were never accused of fraud or any other misconduct and are still cheerily making millions after nearly bringing down the U.S. economy is too depressing to count. Yet a few personal sexts can get you fired. America!