Just when you think the Harvey Weinstein stories couldn’t get any creepier, a new one surfaces. And the latest is a doozy, one that will send shivers up your spine and have you bristling with anger — for all the women who were victimized, and at all the people paid to cover up Weinstein’s actions. Ronan Farrow — who was responsible for the exposé in The New Yorker in which multiple women, including Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette and Annabella Sciorra, shared their harrowing accounts of sexual assault and harassment — is at it again, this time to answer the big question on many people’s minds: HOW?
As we delve deeper into the mire that is Weinstein’s existence, it’s easy to wonder how this could go on for so long. Why did it take so long for Weinstein’s victims to come forward, to share their stories, to speak out? Yes, the Hollywood system is a terrifying one, and that alone is enough to keep anyone from talking. But it turns out there was more to it than that. Much more. According to Farrow’s latest story, Weinstein went to great lengths to shut down the sexual assault allegations.
In The New Yorker‘s report, which was released Monday evening, Farrow detailed how Weinstein hired private security agencies, including former operatives of Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel, as well as journalists, attorneys and former employees from Weinstein’s production companies to retrieve information on women — specifically Rose McGowan and Argento — in attempts to quash the allegations from going public.
— Asia Argento (@AsiaArgento) November 7, 2017
The agencies that were hired — Israel-based Black Cube and American firm Kroll — sound like they came straight out of an old Miramax flick. It was their agents who used aliases and false backgrounds to “target” McGowan and others, gather information and put together “psychological profiles that sometimes focused on their personal or sexual histories.”
The main investigator, who The New Yorker claims is a former officer with the Israel Defense Forces, posed as a women’s rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan.
“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,” read the report.
and you thought investigative journalism was dead. No. This is the crescendo in the aria. https://t.co/9aJoNZTkz0
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) November 7, 2017
Weinstein’s spokesperson, Sallie Hofmeister, denied the report in a statement to The New Yorker: “It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.”
But Weinstein’s former lawyer, David Boies, confirmed that his firm previously paid Black Cube and Kroll on behalf of Harvey, telling The New Yorker, “We should not have been contracting with and paying investigators that we did not select and direct.”
Boies, who claims to only be aware of the work related to McGowan, did note to Farrow, “In retrospect, I knew enough in 2015 that I believe I should have been on notice of a problem, and done something about it. I don’t know what, if anything, happened after 2015, but to the extent it did, I think I have some responsibility. I also think that if people had taken action earlier it would have been better for Mr. Weinstein.”
Would it, though? This was a man who, as far as we can see, would do whatever it takes, by any means necessary, to save his ass and the Hollywood throne he sat upon. He’s (allegedly, mind you) a sexual predator, sociopath, sicko, and so many people knew of his proclivities. This was a man who apparently believed money could buy silence — which it did, but only for so long. Sooner or later (in this case, sadly, much, much later) someone will talk. And that’s what he wasn’t counting on. Which is what makes all these women coming forward, while awful and tragic, empowering as hell. Because even armed with agents and money and power, Weinstein was no match for people speaking the truth.
So while you might not want to read yet another story about Weinstein, this might be the piece that shifts you from heartbroken and apoplectic to impassioned and ragey (if you weren’t already). This is the piece that might propel you from sitting back and stewing to acting on that anger. In a positive way, of course. Because perhaps going forward, if anything remotely close to this kind of behaviour happens to you, to someone you know and love, or even to a stranger, you won’t be silenced. You’ll be ready to do something about it. You’ll be ready to talk. You’ll be ready to fight.
I Slay Dragons https://t.co/TVGEmpBa7N
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) November 7, 2017