New Book Details Reporting That Led to Weinstein's Arrest, Accounts From Previously Unknown Sources
'She Said,' written by the New York Times' Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, sheds more light on the reporting that resulted in the downfall of Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood's sexual misconduct reckoning.
The New York Times' Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey — whose reporting on Harvey Weinstein led to his downfall and subsequent arrest, along with Hollywood's sexual misconduct reckoning nearly two years ago — are releasing a new book, from Penguin Press, about their experience, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.
She Said includes accounts from previously unknown sources such as Harvey Weinstein's brother and business partner, Bob Weinstein. "You have brought shame to the family and your company through your misbehavior," Bob Weinstein wrote in a letter that is in full print in Kantor and Twohey's book. "Your reaction was once more to blame the victims, or to minimize the misbehavior in various ways. If you think nothing is wrong with your misbehavior so in this area then announce it to your wife and family."
The book sheds new light on those who enabled Harvey Weinstein's behavior and names key sources who helped the Pulitzer-winning Kantor and Twohey break the story. Previously unnamed Hollywood stars, company officials and other victims of Weinstein's alleged abuse are mentioned in She Said, which includes new reporting and previously undisclosed corporate records, emails and text messages.
Weinstein — who is facing a criminal trial on charges of sexual assault and rape — has denied ever having had nonconsensual sex and pleaded not guilty.
Irwin Reiter, an accountant and former top executive at the Weinstein Company, is one of She Said's central figures. In the book, Reiter says that the behavior he witnessed Weinstein exhibit toward women concerned him and though he expressed his concerns within the company, nothing was done. Reiter told Kantor and Twohey about more recent allegations made against Weinstein while they were investigating financial settlements for sexual harassment from decades ago.
She Said also discloses the identity of Rowena Chiu — a former assistant at Miramax who received a settlement in 1998 after Weinstein allegedly assaulted her in a hotel room — who was a source for Kantor and Twohey. As described in the book, Chiu was silenced by a restrictive nondisclosure agreement and convinced to continue working at Miramax in a seeming attempt from Weinstein to keep her close. Chiu also says in the book that she later struggled with depression and attempted suicide — and stayed silent for 20 years (even choosing not to tell her husband about her interactions with Weinstein or the NDA she agreed to).
In her first interview to Today on Monday, Chiu said, "When this story broke in the press about two years ago, I wasn't ready…I felt intimidated. I felt terrified. I didn't know what the repercussions would be both legally and personally, and so it really has taken all of two years to square some of those things away both in terms of my own personal life, in terms of coming forward and speaking to my parents, speaking to my husband, speaking to my closest friends."
Among other revelations, the book also features an alleged letter from prominent victims' rights attorney Lisa Bloom — the daughter of Gloria Allred — who allegedly worked for Weinstein at the rate of $895 an hour to help him combat allegations made by vocal accusers such as Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. "I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them.... We can place an article re her becoming increasingly unglued, so that when someone Googles her this is what pops up and she’s discredited," Bloom allegedly wrote when thinking of ways to undermine McGowan. (McGowan and Bloom later responded.)
In an interview with Today on Monday, Twohey and Kantor discussed how Gwyneth Paltrow, who made some of her biggest early movies with Weinstein as a producer, was "one of the first people to get on the phone, and she was determined to help this investigation." Host Savannah Guthrie and the authors discussed a scene in the book wherein Weinstein arrived at a party at her house early and she hid in the bathroom. “I think Harvey Weinstein was extremely aware and extremely scared of what the implications would be if his biggest star ended up going on the record,” Twohey said.
In response to Paltrow's allegations, a spokesperson for Weinstein said in a statement, "Gwyneth Paltrow comes from Hollywood royalty. Her father was a top producer, her mother a respected and famous actor, her godfather is Steven Spielberg. She didn't need to make movies with Harvey Weinstein; she wanted to, and she won top awards and was the top paid female actor for nearly a decade, with Weinstein. Her narrative of her job being at stake is just gratuitous; full of GooP."
She Said — which hits stores Sept. 10 — is the first of several books written about Weinstein. Penguin Press acquired another book by New Yorker writer Ken Auletta, and Ronan Farrow is releasing Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators via Little Brown and Company in October.
Sept. 9, 1 p.m. Updated with Chiu Today interview.
Sept. 9, 6 p.m. Updated with Weinstein statement on Paltrow.