For more than a decade, Harvey Weinstein has been hiring private investigators and spies to secretly undermine and intimidate women who accused him of rape and assault, as well as the reporters who dared to cover their claims, according to a bombshell report from The New Yorker.
Since at least the early 2000s, Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker reported, Weinstein has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to suppress damaging stories from coming to light. One corporate-intelligence company, Kroll, was reportedly paid to surveil the late journalist David Carr, who died in 2015, to prevent him from publishing a story about Rose McGowan’s rape allegation against Weinstein.
Using Black Cube, a company run by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies, Weinstein also hired two investigators who used false identities to extract information about McGowan — including one woman who pretended to be a women’s rights advocate and secretly recorded multiple meetings with her, the report said. After Farrow uncovered the operative’s identity and showed a photo of her to McGowan, the actress expressed shock, saying that the woman had been “very kind” and that she had been emailed by her as recently as October 23rd. Farrow reported that Weinstein had even hired journalists to interview other women who had accused him in an attempt to uncover whether they planned on speaking out — and how best to squash the story if they did.
Farrow’s digging turned up numerous shocking revelations, including that of a prominent Weinstein attorney, David Boies, who argued in favor of gay marriage in front of the Supreme Court and represented Al Gore in the contentious 2000 election outcome. Boies’ signature was found on a contract with Black Cube, which was tasked with suppressing the story that was published in The New York Times and revealed the 1997 settlement Weinstein reached with McGowan. At the same time, Boies’ firm was providing legal counsel to the Times on another matter.
In wake of the revelations, McGowan told Farrow that she felt like she was in the movie Gaslight, which revolves around a husband who conspires to trick his wife into thinking she was insane. “Everyone lied to me all the time,” she said. “I’ve lived inside a mirrored fun house.” A spokesperson for Weinstein dismissed all of the details exposed in the story, saying, “It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.”