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Banker Tells of Radin Rejecting Evans’ Bid on ‘Cotton Club’ Partner

Times Staff Writer

In a stormy meeting in the weeks before he was killed in 1983, theatrical entrepreneur Roy Radin turned down efforts by Hollywood producer Robert Evans to allow Elayne (Lanie) Greenberger, a reputed drug dealer, into their film-making partnership, a banker testified Wednesday.

Prosecutors have charged Greenberger and three other defendants with the 1983 murder of Radin because he would not cut her in on the $35-million film production company deal that he had made with Evans.

Jose Alegria, the Puerto Rican banker who drew up the contract between Evans and Radin, testified Wednesday that during the April, 1983, meeting in Evans’ Manhattan townhouse, Radin and Greenberger argued over her share of the film company.

Completion Bond

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Greenberger broke down and wept, Alegria testified during the ongoing hearing into Radin’s death, because Radin would not recognize her role in introducing him to Evans. Although Evans wanted Greenberger as a partner, Radin adamantly refused, Alegria said.

Radin and Evans had also fought bitterly, “almost every day,” according to Alegria, although they usually ended up hugging each other. Alegria said he was holding out on completing the deal until Evans came up with a completion bond for “Cotton Club” to guarantee that the film would get made.

On the evening of May 13, 1983, Radin and Greenberger entered a limousine outside the Hollywood Regency hotel and drove off to a planned dinner meeting at La Scala restaurant in Beverly Hills. Radin had told associates that he and Greenberger, later identified by homicide investigators as alleged cocaine dealer Lanie Jacobs, were going to patch up their differences.

Radin never made it to dinner. His body was found four weeks later in a deserted canyon near Gorman. Prosecutors believe that Greenberger hired three former security guards who worked for Hustler publisher Larry Flynt to execute Radin.

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Although he has not been charged, Evans has not been ruled out as a suspect by the district attorney’s office. The 59-year-old producer has refused to testify in the hearing on grounds that he could incriminate himself.

Shot to Death

The month before Radin was shot to death, he and Evans planned to turn the movie “Cotton Club” into a three-film deal that could eventually reap $150 million in profits, according to Alegria.

Their first film was to have been “Cotton Club,” which was budgeted at $26 million when the two men signed an agreement with Alegria in April, 1983. The film eventually ended up $20 million over budget.

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