The Harvey Weinstein scandal just got a little worse, and it's doubtful the man will ever be able to recover on a personal or professional level. Weeks after exposing Weinstein as a sexual predator, reporter Ronan Farrow has now revealed the lengths to which the shammed movie mogul and co-founder of The Weinstein Company reportedly went to, to keep his name from being raked through the press. He failed in his efforts, despite hiring private spies to keep his accusers and other journalists silent.
Ronan Farrow announced on Friday's The Late Show With Stephen Colbert that he was working on a follow-up piece to his New Yorker article that outed Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator who had been preying upon Hollywood starlets for decades. As he said, this latest essay would unveil the "machine that was so instrumental in keeping this quiet as long as it was quiet."
Now, in another blistering expose for The New Yorker, Farrow describes the elaborate intelligence operation used to try and suppress the stories coming out against Weinstein. Rose McGowan, who claims she was raped by Harvey Weinstein, says she was one of many targeted by these private investigators.
Last fall, Weinstein is accused of hiring his private army, who were told to gather incriminating evidence on McGowan and the other women who were getting ready to come out against the movie producer. He also targeted a number of journalists that he knew were working overtime to reveals his bad behavior. Manhattan corporate investigative and risk consulting firm Kroll was personally hired by Weinstein as was a company called Black Cube, based in Tel Aviv, which is described as an 'intelligence firm whose leaders include former officers of Mossad, Israel's spy agency'.
Harvey Weinstein monitored their work, using it to bully anyone believed to be going forward with public allegations. The producer also went to great lengths to hide his efforts. But he was unable to stop the New York Times from running the first piece against him, which arrived in October. The New Yorker then ran Farrow's story just days later, with a number of women accusing the man of sexual harassment. Three individual women at that time also accused him of rape. To this day, Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
Farrow's investigation suggests that Black Cube did most of the undercover work for Harvey Weinstein. His story claims that a representative for the firm posed as an executive of a wealth management company in order to fool Rose McGowan into meetings, where this individual, calling herself Diana Filip, posed as the leader of a women's advocacy group, with the idea to have McGowan help launch their cause. The Black Cube employee was actually a former Israeli Defense Forces officer. During her meetings with McGowan, she recorded over 100 pages of transcripts which were turned over to Weinstein. Weinstein's spokesperson is denying these claims.
The report goes onto say that Diana Filip contacted other reporters looking into the Weinstein scandal. The website that was set up to trick McGowan, and all the phone numbers she was given to stay in contact have since gone away.
According to The New Yorker, Black Cube was under contract to "provide intelligence which will help the Client's efforts to completely stop the publication of a new negative article in a leading N.Y. newspaper." It's also cited that Black Cube was to "obtain additional content of a book which currently being written and includes harmful negative information on and about the Client."
Harvey Weinstein has been identified in multiple documents as Black Cube's client. The book that Weinstein was trying to stop is the forthcoming Rose McGowan novel Brave. Some have claimed that Rose McGowan's outspoken rants on social media have been to bring attention to her book, but others claim that is false.
As part of the alleged agreement between Weinstein and Black Cube, the company was required to conduct 10 interviews a month posing as investigative journalists, which were used to gather the info soon to be leaked in the press. Rose McGowan was one of the targets, with a supposed 'freelance journalist' conducting a lengthy conversation, one which she didn't know was being recorded at the time. Annabella Sciorra was also interviewed. She later went to the New Yorker with her rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
At this time Black Cube refuses to comment on this story. Ultimately, Harvey Weinstein's plans to keep his women accusers and the press silent failed. He has now been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 50 women, and counting. So far, he continues to deny all of these claims, including the fact that he had allegedly tried to have various individuals silenced.