Lisa Bloom Denies Canceling Vice Interview Over Weinstein Questions
Josh Tyrangiel of 'Vice News' claimed the attorney canceled a planned interview after the outlet refused to provide their questions (and detail how many of them would focus on Harvey Weinstein) ahead of time.
Attorney Lisa Bloom, who at one time acted as adviser to Harvey Weinstein before resigning from the post, is shooting down reports that she canceled an interview with VICE News after they refused to share their questions — and whether or not Weinstein would factor into them — ahead of time.
Josh Tyrangiel, who runs the daily news show, which airs on HBO, tweeted the news on Monday, saying, "Just fyi, @vicenews had an interview scheduled with former Weinstein rep Lisa Bloom today. We were set up in her office. She delayed. Then her reps demanded our questions in advance. When we refused, they wanted to know what percentage of questions would be about Weinstein."
He continued, "We did not comply, and she cancelled the interview. We made no advance promises — we never do — but think it’s worth noting when public figures accept interviews then try to change the conditions to suit their needs."
When asked for comment, Bloom refuted Tyrangiel's account. "No one asked to see the questions in advance. VICE emailed me certain topics to get me to agree to the interview," she told The Hollywood Reporter, explaining that she gets many interview requests and rejects most of them due to her busy schedule. "I also am ethically barred from discussing certain client matters."
She added: "Then when they arrived they wanted to change [the] focus to Weinstein. I told them that I am no longer authorized to speak about that case, but I'd be happy to speak about the subjects we'd previously agreed to. They didn't want to do that, so they left."
Bloom, who is the daughter of civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, has represented several women in high-profile cases, and has taken on the likes of Donald Trump, Bill O'Reilly and Bill Cosby. She told THR after her resignation from Weinstein's team in October that she initially took on his case because she saw it as "a unique opportunity to change the way these stories go," adding, "In the case of Donald Trump, in the case of Bill O'Reilly, in the case of Bill Cosby, it’s always the same playbook. When the story comes out, attack the accuser, deny, deny, deny, and fight like hell.
"Having represented a lot of those accusers, I know how damaging that is to them, how hurtful, how scary. It’s emotionally devastating," Bloom continued. "Because I had had that experience so many times with so many women I thought changing the response from the accused to immediately apologizing, expressing remorse, vowing to do better and never disrespecting the accusers would be a good thing for the victims."
In response to Bloom's comments, a VICE News spokesperson gave the following statement Tuesday morning:
"On Monday, VICE News had a scheduled interview with Lisa Bloom. The interview was to focus on Rep. John Conyers and the culture of sexual harassment as a whole, of which Harvey Weinstein is now a central figure. There was no "agreement" made in advance on what topics or questions would be discussed.
During set-up, Bloom and her team made repeated attempts to procure a guarantee from VICE News producers about how many questions would focus on Weinstein and what those questions would be. Filming was continuously stalled by these demands with Bloom's team ultimately threatening to pull the interview unless VICE News agreed not to ask any questions about Weinstein.
When VICE News refused, Bloom cancelled the interview.
It is highly concerning for journalistic freedom at large when high profile individuals attempt to use improper tactics in order to prevent reporters from doing their jobs. The result sets a dangerous precedent and it is vital that news organizations be allowed to report unconditionally and without limitations."
Nov. 28, 10:36 a.m. Updated to include VICE News official statement.