Weinstein had an “army of spies” to quell sexual accusations, according to the press
American film producer Harvey Weinstein, on May 22, 2015 at the Cannes Film Festival, in France
Producer Harvey Weinstein spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to quell the sexual abuse allegations, which have cost him his career, hiring intelligence experts to investigate his victims and journalists, The New Yorker reported Monday.
The magazine, which followed The New York Times with important revelations in the case, said a former Israeli contacted one of the main accusers, the actress Rose McGowan, posing as a militant of women’s rights.
The woman, an employee of the private security firm Black Cube, secretly recorded hours of conversations with the actress, who was about to publish her memoirs, entitled “The brave”, whose content worried Weinstein.
The author of the article, Ronan Farrow, who a month ago published the first reports of rape against the producer, indicated that this “army of spies” was deployed since at least the fall of 2016.
The article cites dozens of documents and seven people directly involved in the producer’s efforts to avoid any publication against them.
In addition to Black Cube, run by Israeli intelligence exagents and charged at least $ 200,000 for their services, the producer hired another similar company, Kroll, who for example found 11 photos of the producer with McGowan after the alleged assault to discredit her.
– “Fiction” –
The agent who contacted McGowan also did so with journalists investigating the case, such as Ben Wallace of New York Magazine, to see what information he had.
Weinstein and his team wanted to know what information the press handled and at the same time they were investigating the reporters themselves, inquiring into their personal lives to have material to contradict, discredit or intimidate them.
In Wallace’s case, they sought information about his ex-wife. The journalist assured that he had never experienced so much pressure to interrupt an article, that in the end the magazine decided not to publish in January 2017 because nobody spoke ‘on the record’.
Weinstein – investigated by police in London, New York and Los Angeles – “personally monitored the progress of these investigations”, even using “former employees of his studio to get names and make calls” that some felt “intimidating,” the text added. .
The producer also received information from American Media Inc. content director, publisher of the National Enquirer, Dylan Howard, who used one of his reporters to call the ex-wife of a director who had an affair with McGowan to say negative things. about the actress.
“I have something WONDERFUL,” Howard wrote in an email. “Excellent, especially if my fingerprints are not in it,” he replied.
In some cases, the publication continued, investigations were conducted by Weinstein’s lawyers, such as David Boies, who was recognized for representing Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election and for his arguments in favor of same-sex marriage in the Court. Supreme.
“Boies personally signed the contract ordering Back Cube to find information that would stop the publication of the New York Times” while his firm represented the newspaper in another defamation case.
Weinstein’s spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister, and Boies have not yet responded to calls from AFP.
Hofmeister told the New Yorker: “It is fiction to suggest that any individual has been targeted” for intimidation.
– “Forever” –
The United States Television Academy expelled “for life” Weinstein, after meeting on Monday.
The decision, informed in a statement sent to the specialized media, follows a similar one taken by the Film Academy and the producers’ union shortly after the scandal erupted a month ago.
“The Academy supports those who speak out against harassment in all its forms and stands firm with those who were affected,” a statement said.
“The revelations of so many examples of this horrible behavior deeply disturb the Academy,” added the text, announcing a “detailed review of the codes of conduct” of the agency.
Weinstein received a total of 17 Emmy nominations for his “Project Runway” and “Project Greenlight” programs on HBO.