A new report from one of the investigative journalists who first broke the story about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual crimes details the extent to which the disgraced Hollywood mogul allegedly went to prevent the story from being reported.
Ronan Farrow published his latest piece in The New Yorker on Monday which alleges that Weinstein hired former spies to monitor and harass his alleged victims and journalists.
Below are the top highlights of Farrow’s report:
Weinstein allegedly hired corporate-intelligence companies and former intelligence officials to suppress the allegations.
The firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature.
The groups that he used set up fraudulent companies and presented themselves to the victims with false identifications to gain their trust.
Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her. One of the investigators pretended to be a women’s-rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan. The same operative, using a different false identity and implying that she had an allegation against Weinstein, met twice with a journalist to find out which women were talking to the press. In other cases, journalists directed by Weinstein or the private investigators interviewed women and reported back the details.
Weinstein allegedly hired investigative journalists to dig up dirt on the accusers and hired operatives to dig up dirt on the investigative journalists.
Weinstein allegedly worked with Dylan Howard, the chief content officer of the National Enquirer, to plan how they could use the dirt that they had on McGowan to discredit her.
Farrow says that Weinstein then used the intelligence companies that were working for him to cover his tracks by digging up dirt on the journalists so they would stay quiet about what they had learned from his accusers.
For years, Weinstein had used private security agencies to investigate reporters. In the early aughts, as the journalist David Carr, who died in 2015, worked on a report on Weinstein for New York, Weinstein assigned Kroll to dig up unflattering information about him, according to a source close to the matter. Carr’s widow, Jill Rooney Carr, told me that her husband believed that he was being surveilled, though he didn’t know by whom. “He thought he was being followed,” she recalled. In one document, Weinstein’s investigators wrote that Carr had learned of McGowan’s allegation in the course of his reporting. Carr “wrote a number of critical/unflattering articles about HW over the years,” the document says, “none of which touched on the topic of women (due to fear of HW’s retaliation, according to HW).”
One of the lawyers that helped Weinstein in his efforts to suppress his victims and investigative journalists was top Democratic lawyer David Boies.
In some cases, the investigative effort was run through Weinstein’s lawyers, including David Boies, a celebrated attorney who represented Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential-election dispute and argued for marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court. Boies personally signed the contract directing Black Cube to attempt to uncover information that would stop the publication of a Times story about Weinstein’s abuses, while his firm was also representing the Times, including in a libel case.
To date, at least 78 women have come forward alleging that Weinstein committed sexual crimes against them ranging from sexual harassment to rape.