Steve Bing, a film producer and film financier, has committed suicide. According to TMZ, the 55-year-old jumped from the luxury apartment building he lived in on June 22 in the Century City area of Los Angeles, California. Sources told the outlet he had become depressed while in quarantine.
Bing played the background, so his name may not ring a bell, but he invested in a number of well-known films and rubbed elbows with world-famous celebrities. Bing was a good friend of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and has donated at least $10 million to his nonprofit, The Clinton Foundation, according to the New York Times. Bing also loaned Clinton his Boeing 737 and covered the $200,000 round-trip tab in 2009 when Clinton flew to North Korea to free two journalists who were held captive after being accused of entering the country illegally, ABC News reported. He has also donated millions to Democratic party candidates. In 2000, he donated $1 million to the Democratic National Committee, Los Angeles Magazine reported. He also had a romance with supermodel Elizabeth Hurley.
Here’s what you need to know:
Bing Had a Film Background
Bing was a force in the film industry. He first started in 2000 when he founded his company Shangri-La Entertainment, which focused on entertainment, property and construction. His first producer credit was as executive producer for Sylvester Stallone’s film Get Carter. Bing also served as a co-writer for the 2003 comedy Kangaroo Jack and produced the 2004 comedy The Big Bounce. He invested $100 million into 2004’s The Polar Express, which went on to gross $300 million in the box office. In 2012, he produced Hotel Noir, a black and white 1950s drama about a detective on the run after he steals a load of money from some gangsters. It was re-released under a new title, City of Sin, in color in 2017 by Sony.
Bing Was a Major Donor in Politics & Philanthropist
Bing was a real estate heir as well. He inherited a $600 million fortune from his grandfather, a New York real estate developer, at 18 years old and later dropped out of Stanford University during his junior year, Variety reported. He then launched his career in entertainment and wrote for a Chuck Norris film Missing in Action, according to the Associated Press.
Bing also donated to environmental causes and those in need. He gave $5 million to help Hurricane Katrina victims and donated $30 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation in 2012 to help with providing health care and other types of assistance to elderly people working in the film and television industry, according to Inside Philanthropy. Bing was also part of Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, “a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back” throughout their lifetime.
Bing Had a Nasty Breakup With British Model Elizabeth Hurley
Bing was known for dating British supermodel Elizabeth Hurley during the early 2000s. Unfortunately, their relationship became bitter when she became pregnant with their son, Damian. After Hurley announced her pregnancy, he claimed they weren’t together and had doubts about being the father, according to the Daily Mail.
“Ms. Hurley and I were not in an exclusive relationship when she became pregnant. It is her choice to be a single mother,” he said in a statement in 2002.
He added that if he was the father of the child he would be “extremely involved and responsible.”
Hurley fired back and said she loved Bing “enormously during the 18 months” they were together and that they were “still very much happy together” when they conceived their child.
Bing leaves behind his son with Hurley and his daughter Kira Kerkorian, whom he had with tennis player Lisa Bonder, the Daily Mail reported.