Speed Reads

Harvey Weinstein fallout

Harvey Weinstein reportedly hired investigators to spy on accusers

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein went to great lengths to keep allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him under wraps, hiring private security firms to gather information on women and journalists who were attempting to write stories about the accusations, Ronan Farrow reports at The New Yorker.

Farrow read through dozens of pages of documents and spoke with seven people involved who told him Weinstein started hiring security firms in the fall of 2016, including Black Cube, which is run by former officers from Israeli intelligence agencies. The firms reportedly targeted people like actress Rose McGowan, who last month publicly accused Weinstein of rape. At least one freelance journalist also interviewed women who made allegations against Weinstein, then reported back to the Black Cube what they said.

McGowan said she met with a woman calling herself Diana Filip multiple times, starting in May. Filip said she wanted McGowan to speak at a gala about women's rights, and they would talk about women's empowerment. Three people with knowledge of Black Cube told Farrow that Filip is the alias of a woman who works for the company and used to be an officer in the Israeli Defense Forces. When shown a photo of the woman, McGowan recognized her as Filip, and New York reporter Ben Wallace said he also met the woman twice last fall, when he was working on a story about Weinstein. She told him her name was Anna, and hinted she had an allegation to make against Weinstein, but Wallace told Farrow he became suspicious when Anna started asking "about the status and scope of my inquiry, and about who I might be talking to, without giving me any meaningful help or information." A spokeswoman for Weinstein called the report "fiction."

Read more about the operation, and how famed lawyer David Boies and The National Enquirer are involved, at The New Yorker.