Startling claims from a ‘Hollywood go-to guy’


If Brian Quintana, an events planner who bills himself as “the billionaire’s Hollywood go-to guy,” is to be believed, the last decade and a half of his life has been marked by a series of startlingly abusive relationships with celebrities.

If he is to be believed, actress Stefanie Powers sexually assaulted him, socialite Paris Hilton tried to wreck him professionally and movie producer Jon Peters solicited him to commit murder. If he is to be believed, all three also threatened him with death or grave injury.

Quintana’s record of run-ins with the rich and famous has mostly gone unnoticed in Hollywood, where attention spans are shorter than a starlet’s micro-mini. His is a cautionary tale of misplaced trust, but whether that warning is directed at the entertainment industry’s big names or the little people who minister to them depends on who is telling the story.


Quintana paints himself as a champion of those victimized by celebrity arrogance.

“I for one will not tolerate their abuse,” he wrote in an e-mail.

Not surprisingly, those he’s accused say he is not to be believed. They contend he is an example of a small but destructive group of opportunists who worm their way into the lives of famous people and wreak havoc.

“Brian Quintana is an individual who made a career out of hanging on to well-known people, creating trouble for them, demanding compensation from them and, when he is about to be cut off, blackmailing them with fabricated allegations,” Peters’ attorney charged in a January lawsuit against Quintana.

In his most recent legal battle, Quintana filed a suit accusing Peters, a former studio chief whose movies include “Caddy Shack,” “Rain Man” and “Ali,” of jaw-dropping misconduct, including plotting a homicide, procuring sex for his actors and destroying evidence of rape. Peters denies the allegations and says he hopes to make Quintana’s third court faceoff with a celebrity his last.

“The buck stops here. He needs to be exposed,” Peters said.

Quintana, 42, initially refused to comment for this story. He answered requests for an interview with an e-mail of quotes on various issues (“I manufacture fame and celebrity. I feel like Dr. Frankenstein when these creatures become monsters.”). His lawyer then sent two letters threatening legal action for, among other things, invading his privacy. But a few days before the story was scheduled to run, Quintana said he wanted an interview.

He portrayed himself as the ultimate insider -- “someone who can get almost any Hollywood A-lister on the phone in 30 seconds.”

He did not drop names so much as machine-gun them. He spoke of relationships with an array of actors, directors, politicians and philanthropists. Among his claimed connections: Oprah Winfrey (“Are we best friends? No, but there’s a kinship”), reality TV star Brody Jenner (“He would always say, ‘Why are you always with the cool people?’ ”), filmmaker Bryan Singer (“I introduced him to Jon Peters”) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


A publicist said Winfrey had “no relationship” with Quintana. Jenner’s representative said Quintana’s claim of a friendship was “completely false.” Singer said Quintana played no role in his meeting Peters. Aides to Pelosi said Quintana was an intern in her office during college but denied that he and the congresswoman have the close association he asserts.

“Brian Quintana has no more relationship with the speaker after working for her for a brief period almost 20 years ago as I would with the pope because I am Catholic,” said Brian Wolff, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Quintana shrugged off the apparent inconsistencies.

“When you are under the gun, most people in Hollywood except your true friends are going to deny [knowing] you,” he said.

Said Quintana’s longtime friend, Chuck Fuentes, the Pico Rivera city manager: “His intentions are always in the right place to do something big, something good, something meaningful. Sometimes things just seem to fall apart, and then he goes crossways on people.”

The biography Quintana lays out on his website and in court papers touts his humble roots. He grew up in a one-bedroom Boyle Heights home -- shared by 11 relatives, he says -- earned a scholarship to a fancy East Coast prep school and later earned a political science degree at UC Berkeley.

Interning for Pelosi and campaigning for Democrats led to a career as an event planner, a job that offered him a chance to meet an elite crowd. Some were impressed. His website features photos of Quintana smiling alongside the likes of Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush.



In the Enquirer

Quintana made two unsuccessful runs for the state Legislature in the early 1990s, but his first real public notice came in 1995, when he appeared in the National Enquirer under the headline YOUNG ASSISTANT TELLS ALL, STEFANIE POWERS FORCED ME TO MAKE LOVE TO HER.

Quintana, then 28, was seeking a restraining order against Powers, a married 52-year-old Hollywood veteran best known for her role in the TV series “Hart to Hart.” In papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, he charged that Powers was a nasty drunk who browbeat him into a violent sexual relationship when he worked for her on a charity project and threatened his life when he tried to collect money she owed him.

In case there was doubt about Powers’ identity, Quintana attached to the filing a glamorous photo of the actress.

Powers called it “a load of rubbish.” In a court affidavit, a charity employee swore she was present on the few occasions Quintana worked with the actress and saw no heavy drinking, groping or sex.

A judge eventually tossed out the restraining order, writing that “the overwhelming weight of evidence” showed that a statement Quintana had submitted to the court swearing he had properly notified Powers of the order was false. The actress won a libel suit in Britain against a London newspaper that carried a breathless account of Quintana’s claims. Powers can still quote portions of his allegations verbatim, including a charge that she forced herself on him while saying, “You know you want this.”

“I wasn’t as upset with the article as I was that anyone would accuse me of that bad dialogue. I have never said anything that trite in my life,” she said in an interview with The Times.


She and Quintana settled a related small-claims case. He acknowledged selling his story to various tabloid outlets for $15,000 but declined to discuss the matter further, citing the terms of the settlement.

The decade after the dispute with Powers was rocky for Quintana, court records indicate. He was convicted of assaulting a man during a sexual encounter outside a Silver Lake bar. While on home detention, he was arrested again for allegedly trying to run down his landlady, who was in the process of evicting him.

Before his sentencing in the second case, former board members of an AIDS charity sent a letter to the judge saying that a document attributed to one of them in the Silver Lake case -- a letter extolling Quintana’s efforts on behalf of AIDS awareness -- was a forgery, according to a transcript. The letter also bore the signature of film director Brett Ratner, who said through a spokeswoman that he never signed the document.

Quintana brushed aside questions about the letter in court -- he told The Times the signatures weren’t forgeries -- but he acknowledged to the judge then that the convictions had damaged his political prospects.

“I was talked about as . . . a bright up-and-comer in the political scene, someone who had, you know, a good shot down the road,” he said, according to a transcript of the hearing. The judge gave him two years in jail.


A return to partying

In another city, his criminal convictions and sensational allegations against Powers might have spelled the end of Quintana’s career. But in Hollywood, where fresh faces seem to trump back stories, he quickly slipped back into the party scene.


According to court testimony, in 2004, Quintana befriended Stavros Niarchos, teen heir to a Greek shipping fortune, and played cupid between Niarchos and another wealthy blond on the party circuit, Hilton.

By the next year, the relationship between Quintana, then 39, and the heiress had soured. Quintana returned to the same court where he had squared off with Powers and applied for a restraining order against Hilton. In papers asking that a judge order her to stay 500 yards away and stop bad-mouthing him, Quintana claimed Hilton had shoved him.

“I have received numerous calls threatening my life,” he wrote in court papers.

Hilton, then 25, was aghast, according to court papers.

“Brian Quintana is the harasser in this situation,” she wrote in one filing. He phoned constantly, showed up uninvited at her events and dropped by her parents’ home “despite being asked not to,” she charged.

On her lawyer’s advice, Hilton skipped the proceedings. A judge granted Quintana a restraining order -- it expired last month -- prohibiting Hilton from setting a platformed heel within 100 yards of him.

Hilton offered a verbal eye roll through her attorney.

“This individual is meaningless in her life,” he huffed to reporters afterward.

But Quintana expressed relief to the media. “I’m going to sleep better at night knowing that she or her henchman can’t come after me,” he said.

Quintana says he and Hilton have since reconciled.

“When I see her, it’s always a hug, a peck on the cheek,” he said. Calls to Hilton’s representative were not returned.


The experience with Hilton did not dissuade Quintana from seeking out the rich and famous as clients, as evidenced by a glowing magazine profile prominently featured on his website. The article is presented as a cover story from South Coast magazine, an Orange County publication that allows businesses to purchase articles promoting their services. The story lauds Quintana as a sort of social guru for the jet set and lists dozens of billionaires -- from Mexican magnate Carlos Slim Helu to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen -- “linked” to him.

The magazine’s editor, Brad Wright, said Quintana produced the article himself, right down to the glamour shots of him posing with celebrities, but that it did not run on the cover. He published the story inside a 2007 issue, he said, in exchange for a photo Quintana had of his son at a charity event with Shaquille O’Neal.

“He had possession of it, and that’s the only way I could get it,” he recalled.

By the time the issue went to press, Quintana was working for Peters. Just what Quintana did for his $5,000-a-month salary is contested. Quintana maintains in his suit that he was hired “as a producer and executive in the motion picture industry” and promised bonuses for certain duties -- including $100,000 for securing Peters a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and $150,000 for producing the “Superman” movie.


A ‘sober companion’

Peters’ lawyer, Joseph Yanny, said in an interview that Quintana was never involved in the producer’s film projects. He said Quintana was brought on primarily as a “sober companion” to help the producer navigate legal problems caused by his use of prescription painkillers and a resulting DUI conviction.

Quintana “held himself out to Mr. Peters as a pillar in the clean and sober community” who could act as a go-between with lawyers and serve as Peters’ sponsor in the 12-step program ordered by the judge, according to Peters’ countersuit.

Whatever work Quintana did for Peters, both parties seemed initially pleased with the arrangement. Peters got the star on Hollywood Boulevard, and Quintana suggested he fulfill the 40 hours of court-ordered community service by volunteering at Homeboy Industries, the well-regarded program that helps at-risk youth.


But last year, the relationship imploded. Peters fired Quintana and Quintana sued Peters. The producer was already fighting suits by several household employees, and Quintana echoed sexual harassment claims contained in some of their suits. But he included a laundry list of additional allegations, one more shocking than the next.

The suit depicts Peters as an enthusiastic but inept criminal turning constantly to Quintana, his efficient if unwilling right hand. Among the demands the suit contends Peters made and Quintana refused were killing a youth the producer was allegedly accused of molesting; driving men onto movie sets to perform sexual favors for the cast; bribing witnesses in lawsuits; and forging paperwork to overstate the number of community service hours Peters completed toward a DUI sentence.

Peters denied all the allegations and said in his countersuit that the only thing he did wrong was place his trust in a scam artist.

“I should have done a background check, but I didn’t,” Peters said.

His countersuit contends that Quintana lied about his background, spread “false, derogatory” information about Peters to business associates, dropped the producer’s name to obtain personal favors from celebrities including Cruise and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and made “repeated unwanted sexual advances toward a minor male relative” of the producer. Facing termination, Quintana threatened to sell fabricated stories about Peters to the media, according to the suit.

Quintana declined to talk about Peters’ case, except for one particular denial: He said he never contemplated selling information about the producer to the tabloids.

“I have not sold a story since my days with Stavros and Paris,” he said.

In an interview, Peters said he will never settle with Quintana.

“Sure, I could give him 20 grand to go away, but that’s not the issue. I view it as blackmail, and he will never, ever get a penny from me,” he said.


While Quintana vs. Peters unfolds in court, Quintana has moved on to other projects. He says he is working pro bono on a star-studded gala in Palm Springs benefiting a veterans charity. The event will feature a satellite address by Michelle Obama, he said.

A spokeswoman for the first lady, however, said she has no association with the group and will not participate in the gala.