Harvey Weinstein Hired Spies to Suppress Sexual Assault Allegations
On Friday, Ronan Farrow appeared on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show and said that he had a new report coming for The New Yorker that would expose the “machine” that kept all of these allegations against Harvey Weinstein — many of which were revealed in Farrow’s own report last month — a secret for decades. On Monday night, Farrow’s latest report was published, and it details a chilling web of deceit involving multiple law firms, theatrics, and threats against those who would come forward.
Farrow’s 5,300-word report, titled "Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies," describes the lengths to which Weinstein went to keep details of his behavior under wraps. Rose McGowan, who features heavily in the report and is one of Weinstein’s first accusers to come forward, describes interactions with a woman who claimed to be from a women’s rights organization, and individuals who secretly recorded conversations with the actress, attempting to gather information about her and her upcoming memoir Brave.
Weinstein’s legal operatives worked with numerous organizations, including intelligence companies Kroll and Black Cube, the latter of which employs former Mossad operatives and Israeli intelligence agents. The “dozens of pages” of reports Farrow went through indicate that Weinstein contacted these organizations in 2016, when he made his last big push to silence all the accusations against him. From the New Yorker exposé:
The explicit goal of the investigations, laid out in one contract with Black Cube, signed in July, was to stop the publication of the abuse allegations against Weinstein that eventually emerged in The New York Times and The New Yorker. Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies ‘target,’ or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focused on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally. He also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.
The whole thing feels like a script for a movie, all the more chilling because of how real it is, and how successful it nearly was. During his Colbert interview, Farrow discussed how his first report was declined by NBC News, which caused him to take it to The New Yorker instead. “It is of the utmost importance,” Farrow said, “that any news organization that has damning evidence of ongoing criminal activity needs to run that, needs to investigate it, interrogate it and run it.”
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