An Australian journalist is the latest reporter accused of being part of the ‘army of spies’ that kept Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behaviour out of the media for so long.
Dylan Howard, formerly a Channel Seven news reporter, was sacked in 2008 amidst a ‘stolen medical files’ misconduct, but is now back in the headlines almost a decade later as part of a new scandal.
According to the New Yorker, the disgraced former executive of the Weinstein company had a number of journalists in his employ with the express purpose of digging up dirt on his accusers.
Former Channel Seven reporter Dylan Howard has been named as one of Weinstein’s ‘spies’
Harvey Weinstein is accused of hiring an ‘army of spies’ to keep his behaviour out of the media
Weinstein allegedly used ‘army of spies’ to find information on accusers like Rose McGowan
The article ‘Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies’ alleges that the film executive hired private investigators, including ex-Mossad agents, to track actresses and journalists to collect information on anyone accusing him of sexual assault and harassment.
Mr Howard, who relocated to the Unites States to work in entertainment journalism, is currently chief content officer at American Media Inc. (AMI) and is accused of using his position to help Weinstein.
Author of the New Yorker article Ronan Farrow believes that Howard passed information obtained through his job with AMI to Weinstein last year, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported.
Mr Farrow further accuses the embattled Australian journalist of working with Weinstein to undermine and ‘disprove [Rose] McGowan’s allegation of rape’ against him by finding ‘information that he could use to undermine women with allegations’.
Howard allegedly used his position at AMI to look for stories to ‘undermine’ Rose (pictured)
The article states that Howard told one of his reporters to call Elizabeth Avellan, the ex-wife of Rose McGowan’s boyfriend director Robert Rodriguez, who she dated from 2005 to 2009.
Variety has since reported that Rodriguez knew about Weinstein’s alleged rape of Rose in 1997, and cast her in the flick ‘Grindhouse’ as revenge.
During a long phone call that Ms Avellan said she only answered because the reporter wouldn’t stop calling, she was repeatedly ‘pressed for unflattering statements about McGowan’.
Howard then reportedly emailed Weinstein saying, ‘I have something AMAZING … eventually she laid into Rose pretty hard’.
The article further accuses the reporter of recording the phone call, and then passing the audio onto Howard.
Howard denied sending Weinstein the audio, even though his email ended with the words ‘audio to follow’.
One of Howard’s reporters allegedly called Elizabeth Avellan (right) and pressed her for unflattering information on Rose McGowan after she accused Weinstein of rape in 1997
Elizbeth Avellan’s ex Robert Rodriguez (right) used to date Rose McGowan from 2005 to 2009
Variety has since reported that Rodriguez knew about Weinstein’s alleged 1997 rape of Rose
In a statement to the New Yorker, Weinstein spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister accused the publication of trafficking in ‘inaccuracies and wild conspiracy theories’.
But Howard insists there is no ‘conflict of interest’ between his work for AMI and 2016 communications with Weinstein.
‘I had an obligation to protect AMI’s interests by seeking out – but not publishing – truthful information about people who Mr Weinstein insisted were making false claims against him,’ he said.
‘To the extent I provided ‘off the record’ information to Mr Weinstein about one of his accusers – at a time when Mr Weinstein was denying any harassment of any woman – it was information which I would never have allowed AMI to publish on the internet or in its magazines.
‘I have always separated those two roles carefully and completely, and resisted Mr Weinstein’s repeated efforts to have AMI titles publish favourable stories about him or negative articles about his accusers.’
Howard insists there is no ‘conflict of interest’ between work for AMI and talks with Weinstein
Dylan Howard (left) denies using his position to help Weinstein (right) gather his information
Sallie Hofmeister, Weinstein’s spokesperson, added, ‘In regard to Mr. Howard, he has served as the point person for American Media’s long-standing business relationship with The Weinstein Company.
‘Earlier this year, Mr. Weinstein gave Mr. Howard a news tip that Mr. Howard agreed might make a good story.
‘Mr. Howard pursued the tip and followed up with Mr. Weinstein as a courtesy, but declined to publish any story.’
Annabella Sciorra is one of roughly 50 people to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct
Actress Sciorra claims that a journalist unlawfully sent an interview with her to the ex-mogul
Many of his accusers have said that the ‘army of spies’ made speaking out against the one-time movie magnate more difficult.
Actress Annabella Sciorra, who had an interview with a journalist recorded without her knowledge and sent to Weinstein, said that she was ‘scared…because I knew what it meant to be threatened by Harvey’.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by more than 50 people in the US and UK, and is now under police investigation in both countries.
Meanwhile, plans for Weinstein’s arrest are being firmed up in New York, with NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce revealing on Friday that the disgraced mogul’s arrest is all but imminent.
The NYPD spoke in detail about their investigation into Harvey Weinstein on Friday, revealing they have an ‘actual case’ (Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner James O’Neill above)