If you thought Harvey Weinstein couldn't possibly be any more hideously sickening than you already knew, Ronan Farrow's new piece in the New Yorker reveals he's even worse than you could imagine. Weinstein hired spies to get dirt on actresses he allegedely sexuallty assaulted and on journalists looking into the allegations. In other words, Weinstein had setup an entire shadow organization of lawyers, spies and "former employees from his film enterprises" working for him to suppress the avalanche of sexually abuse allegations against him.
Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her. One of the investigators pretended to be a women's-rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan. The same operative, using a different false identity and implying that she had an allegation against Weinstein, met twice with a journalist to find out which women were talking to the press. In other cases, journalists directed by Weinstein or the private investigators interviewed women and reported back the details.
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. Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies "target," or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focussed 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.
One of the most interested revelations in Farrow's story is that high-powered lawyer David 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"
In some cases, the investigative effort was run through Weinstein's lawyers, including David Boies, a celebrated attorney who represented Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential-election dispute and argued for marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court. Boies personally signed the contract directing Black Cube to attempt to uncover information that would stop the publication of a [New York] Times story about Weinstein's abuses, while his firm was also representing the Times, including in a libel case."
Image: David Shankbone/Wikipedia