A terrifying expose alleged that Harvey Weinstein used an ‘army of spies’ to dig up dirt on the actresses and journalists he feared would expose him.
Ronan Farrow, whose bombshell report for The New Yorker unearthed decades of sexual abuse allegations against the powerful Hollywood producer, revealed the frightening lengths Weinstein went to, to silence his accusers.
The Miramax producer hired Black Cube, run by former Israeli intelligence officers of Mossad, and Kroll, the biggest global corporate-intelligence firm, to gather details about the personal lives and sex histories of dozens of actresses and journalists in a bid to undermine their claims and intimidate them into keeping quiet.
A terrifying expose alleged that Harvey Weinstein (right) used an ‘army of spies’ to dig up dirt on the actresses and journalists he feared would expose him, including actress Rose McGowan (left)
The Miramax producer hired Black Cube, run by former Israeli intelligence officers of Mossad
He also hired Kroll, the biggest global corporate-intelligence firm, to gather details about the personal lives and sex histories of dozens of actresses and journalists
The crazy lengths to which Weinstein went to silence his accusers
- Hired Black Cube, run by former Israeli intelligence officers of Mossad, and Kroll, the biggest global corporate-intelligence firm
- Invoices revealed he agreed to pay $600,000 for information that would stop the press publishing allegations of rape, abuse or harassment against Weinstein
- One corporate intelligence agent posed as a woman’s right activist to lull actress Rose McGowan into discussing her claims against Weinstein.
- The same agent also spoke to reporters to try and find out their sources.
- Weinstein or the agencies also hired their own journalists to interview accusers and alleged victims to find out what their claims against him were.
- Agents went through journalists’ personal lives, even speaking to their ex-wives, to try and find information to discredit them.
- Weinstein allegedly tricked an ex-employee into revealing a list of her old colleagues who would be open to contributing to a book about the ‘good old days’ at Miramax. When she provided the list, he forced her to call them in front of him to see who had spoken to the press.
- The producer conducted much of his investigations with his secret intelligence agencies through his lawyers so they’d be protected by attorney-client privilege.
Weinstein also used several other private security firms including the Los Angeles-based agency PSOPS.
The agencies deployed secret operatives to ‘target’ stars such as Rose McGowan, who would later become Weinstein’s most vocal accuser.
One agent even posed as a woman’s right activist to lull McGowan into discussing her claims.
David Boies, chairman of Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP, (left) signed the contract for Black Cube while Dylan Howard, the chief content officer of American Media Inc., (right) provided information ‘obtained by one of his reporters, as part of an effort to help Weinstein disprove McGowan’s allegation of rape’
Left to right: Michael Elliott, Harvey Weinstein and David Boies attend the TIME 100 GALA
The same female operative, under the alias Diana Filip – the deputy head of an apparently fake London-based wealth-management firm Reuben Capital Partners, also met with a journalist to find out which women were talking to the press.
‘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 said.
Over the course of twelve months, Weinstein had the agencies compile psychological profiles on dozens of targets that often focused on their personal or sexual histories.
One such profile focused on actress Rosanna Arquette, an accuser in a recent piece for The New Yorker, which her posts on social media, including ones about sexual abuse, her family history with molestation and sexual assault, and her apparent friendship with McGowan
Targets? Adam Moss, the editor-in-chief of New York Magazine, and New York Times reporter Benjamin Wallace
The agents even spoke to the ex wives of certain journalists who were working on stories about Weinstein in a bid to undermine them.
The producer hired the intelligence agencies through his law firm so the investigations would be covered by attorney-client privilege. Those services ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars according to one invoice that was submitted for $600,000.
At least one contract was signed by David Boies, attorney for Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential-election controversy.
‘Boies personally signed the contract directing Black Cube to attempt to uncover information that would stop the publication of a Times story about Weinstein’s abuses, while his firm was also representing the Times, including in a libel case,’ Farrow said. The lawyer insists there was no conflict of interest and that he did not select the firms or direct the investigators’ work
The agencies were employed to get their hands on McGowan’s book Brave
A July 17 contract between Weinstein and Boies’ law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, shows how Black Cube be awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in ‘success fees’ for preventing stories of his abuse leaking.
Another tactic saw Weinsetin or his agencies hire journalists to interview his accusers and report back on their claims, as well as trying to dig up information on their other sources.
In January, 2017, McGowan said she was contacted by a freelance journalist who secretly recorded their conversation and reported back to Black Cube about what she said. The journalist, who has not been named, denies he reported back to them ‘in a formal capacity.’
That same reporter contacted at least two other of Weinstein’s accusers including actress Annabella Sciorra who later alleged the 65-year-old had raped her.
She says she’d got a call from the journalist but quickly became suspicious and realized the interviewer could be tied to Weinstein.
‘It scared me that Harvey was testing to see if I would talk,’ she said.
An email exchange between Weinstein and Dylan Howard, the chief content officer of American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer, in December 2016, revealed that Howard had provided information ‘obtained by one of his reporters, as part of an effort to help Weinstein disprove McGowan’s allegation of rape,’ the New Yorker report says.
Howard’s reporter had called Elizabeth Avellan, the ex-wife of the director Robert Rodriguez, who left her to begin a relationship with McGowan.
Avellan claims the reporter had pursued her hard, calling friends and family until she answered the phone and then pressed her for dirt on McGowan. They did not say that the conversation was being recorded, she told Rowan.
Howard then sent an e-mail to Weinstein bragging he had ‘something AMAZING… eventually she laid into Rose pretty hard.
Weinstein replied: ‘This is the killer. Especially if my fingerprints r not on this.’ Howard responded: ‘They are not. And the conversation . . . is RECORDED.’
Howard said in a statement that at the time of the emails, he had been overseeing a television-production agreement with Weinstein and so 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.’
Weinstein had the agencies compile psychological profiles on dozens of targets such as Rosanna Arquette (left) while Pamela Lubell (right) was allegedly tricked intorevealing a list of her old colleagues, then forced her to call them to see who had spoken to the press
He insist he separated his role as a journalist from his role with Weinstein and resisted the Miramax producer’s efforts to ‘have AMI titles publish favorable stories about him or negative articles about his accusers.’
New York Times reporter Ben Wallace, whose blistering report on the Weinstein sex scandal hit the producer hard, was also targeted.
He said he was also contacted by ‘Filip’ – who was actually a former officer in the Israeli Defense Forces working for Black Cube, sources told Rowan. This time she went by the name ‘Anna’.
‘She identified herself only as Anna and suggested that she had an allegation against Weinstein,’ he said.
He met her on a couple of occasions but became suspicious as ‘Anna seemed to be pushing him for information, he recalled, ‘about the status and scope of my inquiry, and about who I might be talking to, without giving me any meaningful help or information.’
Wallace said: ‘It seemed like soap-opera acting.’
Filip also reached out to Rowan ‘asking for a meeting and suggesting that I join her campaign to end professional discrimination against women’. He did not respond.
Black Cube declined to comment on the work it did for Weinstein but insists it always operates ‘in full compliance with the law of any jurisdiction in which it operates.’
However, the firm has landed itself in trouble previously and just last year, two of its investigators were arrested in Romania on hacking charges.