Harvey Weinstein 'hired ex-spies to discredit accusers and journalists'

Ben Arnold
(Credit: Reuters)
(Credit: Reuters)

Harvey Weinstein had a team of lawyers and private investigators who worked to suppress and discredit the allegations of his sexual accusers and the journalists who were investigating him, it’s alleged.

An expansive article in the New Yorker, penned by Ronan Farrow, who lifted the lid on many of Weinstein’s alleged assaults for the magazine last month, claims that Weinstein even began trying to cover up abuse using intelligence companies.

One of the companies, Black Cube, promotes its services by boasting that it employs former officers from Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies, and, according to the report, Weinstein has been using their services since 2016 in order to silence or intimidate those accusing him of sexual assaults.

“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,” Farrow writes.

“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.”

It also alleges that the company used officers to pose as freelance journalists in order to get information from the likes of actresses Rose McGowan and Annabella Sciorra, who have accused Weinstein of rape.

Farrow also says that a fellow reporter for New York magazine, Ben Wallace, who was also investigating Weinstein, was approached by a woman claiming to have allegations about Weinstein, but who appeared to actually be probing for what information he already had.

The same woman also met with McGowan, posing as the representative of a wealth management firm working on an initiative to combat discrimination against women in the workplace, who later promised to make in investment in her production company.

The actress also says that she was approached by various people using false identities who tried to obtain material from her forthcoming memoir ‘Brave’.

Sciorra said that the experience ‘scared’ her, while McGowan said that ‘everyone lied to me all the time’ and that it was like living ‘inside a mirrored fun house’.

Through his spokesperson, Weinstein has denied the claims, saying: “It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.”

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