Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein reportedly went to extreme lengths in attempts to silence his accusers and suppress reporters from publishing any stories about the allegations.
In an explosive new expose published on The New Yorker, Ronan Farrow – the investigative journalist who also wrote the bombshell report detailing media mogul’s long history of sexual misconducts – revealed Weinstein employed private investigators and former spies to collect information about the women who accused him of sexual abuse and to block the reporters who were investigating claims against him.
According to the report, Weinstein hired Kroll, one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, along with Black Cube, another firm that is largely composed of highly trained former Mossad operatives and officials from other Israeli intelligence agencies, to retrieve information on women — specifically Rose McGowan and Asia Argento, two of the several actresses who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault.
Apparently, two Black Cube agents contacted McGowan earlier this year, with one of them pretending to be the deputy head of sustainable and responsible investments at London-based wealth-management firm Reuben Capital Partners. The woman identified herself as Diana Filip.
After McGowan, who has been on the forefront of the campaign against Weinstein, mentioned speaking to Farrow, who was interviewing other alleged victims of the Hollywood giant, Filip reached out to the reporter and asked if she could meet him.
She also suggested Farrow joined her campaign to “end professional discrimination against women.” In his piece, the reporter said it was “a detailed effort to uncover sources.”
Another investigator, who identified himself as a freelance journalist, also had lengthy conversation with McGowan in January, which he covertly recorded and provided them to Black Cube.
The report, aptly titled “Harvey Weinstein's Army of Spies,” also revealed Weinstein’s lawyer David Boies involvement in the operation. The attorney has confirmed his firm paid for the investigative efforts. He said an investigator sent him the reports, which he then sent to Weinstein. However, he claimed he did not choose the firms.
“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,” read the report. “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.”
Private investigators reportedly also targeted New York Magazine reporter Ben Wallace and Editor-in-chief Adam Moss, actress Annabella Sciorra and model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.
While Weinstein’s shady practices and the fact he wanted to bury the allegations against him make sense, given he was a revered producer who launched the careers of several Hollywood stars, the fact he reportedly hired ex-Mossad agents through his lawyer’s firm to collect information on his alleged victims is just astounding.
Thumbnail / Banner: Reuters, Carlo Allegri