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The investigative journalist visited Good Morning America on Tuesday morning to discuss his latest exposé on Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than 70 women since Farrow’s initial New Yorker report, along with the New York Times‘ Oct. 5 story, first broke the news about the producer’s alleged decades of misconduct.
On Monday, the New Yorker contributor outlined the “machine” of private investigators and attorneys who worked for months to suppress allegations against Weinstein in a 5,300-word investigative piece titled “Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies.” The story details how Weinstein — already known to have used confidentiality agreements, financial settlements and other bullying tactics through a team of lawyers — also employed two intelligence companies, one a group of former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies, to help silence and discredit his accusers. The report also says David Boies and his law firm were representing the Times while also helping Weinstein’s private investigators spy on accusers and journalists.
“We are getting a lot coming in,” Farrow told GMA anchors George Stephanopoulos, Michael Strahan and Robin Roberts about the “seismic shift” they are witnessing with victims coming forward in Hollywood. “Some of it [is] very, very troubling and some of it, I think, [is] checking out. It is not over and look, that is down to the bravery of women that are still coming forward, and men that are coming forward as victims. This is, as you say, a movement.”
Farrow began his investigation 10 months before his Oct. 10 piece published, explaining that a tweet from alleged Weinstein victim Rose McGowan about her unidentified rapist set his investigation in motion. McGowan, who has since named Weinstein as her alleged rapist, was one of the women who shared her account of the lengths Weinstein took to silence his accusers in Farrow’s story. She also will release a memoir, Brave, in 2018 and the Times had detailed how Weinstein offered her a significant sum in exchange for her silence during the research process — an offer she refused.
“There are criminal offenses — intimidation, menacing — that are linked to the way the women described their experience of this,” said Farrow, who is the son of Mia Farrow and is also an attorney. “They were afraid for their physical safety because this all emanated from a guy who had attacked them in the past.”
Weinstein’s spokesperson, Sallie Hofmeister, denied Farrow’s report, saying it is “a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.” But Farrow firmly stands behind the women in his story, in which the reporter reviewed “dozens of pages of documents” and confirmed with seven people involved in the effort that Weinstein hired the companies.
“The body of reporting makes clear that the women have another story, the actual operatives involved in these operations have another story and the all of his lawyers have another story,” he said, quoting one of the investigators who said Weinstein was able to “intimidate” David Carr of the New York Times into not breaking a story of Weinstein’s alleged sexual assault years ago.
When asked why NBC News, where Ronan is a contributor, passed on his initial exposé, Farrow said rather diplomatically, “The story makes it clear that they were focusing on everyone trying to get word out about this.”
Aside from the lengths Weinstein is reported to have taken to silence these women, Farrow said what surprises him most is the extent of his efforts, shining a light on another area of complicity.
“This was a vast, international campaign using high-level, elite operatives; using fake identities, insinuating themselves into people’s lives, using front companies as cover. This was elaborate,” he said, adding, “and very expensive. We talk about the invoices on this. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s an area that’s overdue for accountability, because this was all conducted in secrecy by very reputable law firms and the women say, that’s just wrong.”
Farrow closed out his appearance by acknowledging the ripple effect that is happening across the country as more and more people come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and assault.
“What the women have done coming forward in this article and now far beyond, industry after industry, is something I could have never fully anticipated,” said Farrow. “It is incredibly moving and it shows this is an issue that has been under the surface for far too long. It is a deep vein that has been opened up in a big way now and I hope it leads to more accountability.”
Watch Farrow’s full GMA appearance at the 2:45-minute mark below.
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek