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In Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators (Little, Brown and Company, Oct. 15), Ronan Farrow recounts the challenges he faced chasing the story of Harvey Weinstein’s years of predation — first for NBC News and then for the New Yorker. The magazine would eventually publish Farrow’s Weinstein investigation in October 2017. Much of the book covers Farrow’s time at NBC News, where he and producer Rich McHugh began working on the Weinstein investigation in January 2017. Farrow’s break with NBC News — “the story behind the story,” as he characterizes it — makes up a large portion of the book, with details about his interactions with ousted Today anchor Matt Lauer, Megyn Kelly and attorney Lisa Bloom, who would be exposed as one of Weinstein’s foot soldiers.
The book also details claims from Meredith Vieira’s former assistant that Lauer assaulted her during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Current Today hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb responded to those new claims about Lauer on Wednesday’s show and Lauer also released an open letter in response to the allegations in Farrow’s book.
Below, The Hollywood Reporter details five additional revelations from Farrow’s book.
Kudos from Matt Lauer
On Oct. 10, 2017, the day Farrow’s New Yorker exposé about Harvey Weinstein ran, Farrow receives a congratulatory text message from Matt Lauer. “Ronan, it’s Matt Lauer. Let me be the 567th person to say congratulations on an amazing piece!”
Megyn Kelly’s neck tendon
At the Time 100 gala in April 2017, Farrow bumps into Megyn Kelly, who had recently joined NBC News from Fox News Channel. He congratulated her on her upcoming NBC show and then apologized for “the Twitter thing” — in which he called one of her comments racist.
A tendon stood out on Kelly’s neck. “I made a lot of mistakes when I was at your point in my career, too,” she said, smiling tightly. “You’re kind of a rookie reporter.”
Andy Lack’s safe house
At the same dinner, Farrow bumps into NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack.
I thanked him for getting behind investigative stories. I reached for a personal connection. My brother [Matthew Previn] has recently purchased Lack’s home in Bronxville, New York.
“Apparently you left behind a giant safe they still haven’t drilled open,” I said.
Lack laughed. “That’s true. There is an old safe.” He said the safe preceded him, and he hadn’t opened it, either. He shrugged.
“Sometimes it’s better to leave things be.”
Weinstein’s political friends
Farrow recounts a call from former New York Gov. George Pataki to Harvey Weinstein. Over the years, Weinstein and his company had donated to more than a dozen New York politicians and their PACs, including Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Kirsten Gillibrand and Pataki.
“Hey Harvey, it’s George. I just want to let you know, Ronan Farrow’s still working on the story.”
“That’s not what I hear,” Weinstein said.
Pataki insisted that multiple women were talking to me. “He’s ready to go with it. It’s supposed to get aired—”
Lisa Bloom’s double dealing
It slowly dawns on Farrow that lawyer Lisa Bloom, while claiming to advise Farrow with his reporting, was actually attempting to wheedle information about his Weinstein reporting.
The last time I answered a call from Lisa Bloom that summer, I expressed astonishment.
“Lisa, you swore, as an attorney and a friend, that you wouldn’t tell his people,” I said.
“Ronan,” she replied. “I am his people.”
I thought of her calls and texts and voicemails pressing me for information, dangling clients…Bloom told me Weinstein had optioned her book, that she’d been in an awkward position. “Ronan, you need to come in. I can help. I can talk to David [Boies] and Harvey. I can make this easier for you.”
“Lisa, this is not appropriate,” I said.
“I don’t know what women you’re talking to,” she said. “But I can give you information about them. If it’s Rose McGowan, we have files on her. I looked into her myself when this first came up. She’s crazy.”
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