Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenberg

Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:11 pm

Paz de la Huerta Says Harvey Weinstein Raped Her Twice. Will That Bring Him to Justice?: Why police may now have a case.
by Rebecca Keegan
November 2, 2017 6:52 PM

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Paz de la Huerta while promoting Enter the Void at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009.
By Henny Garfunkel/Redux.


In the fall of 2010, actress Paz de la Huerta was at her highest point professionally. Raised in SoHo and on the Lower East Side by a father descended from Spanish nobility and a mother who is a policy analyst on women’s issues in Third World countries, de la Huerta had been acting and modeling since her teens, and now seemed to be breaking through. The year before she had co-starred in Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void, which had recently opened in the U.S. And her recurring role on HBO’s just-premiered Prohibition-period gangster drama, Boardwalk Empire, as mistress to Steve Buscemi’s Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, had earned her critical praise.

One night that November, de la Huerta ran into Harvey Weinstein at the Top of the Standard bar at the Standard, High Line hotel in Manhattan. She had first met Weinstein while making the movie Cider House Rules when she was 14. De la Huerta had communicated with the producer over the years after their first meeting. At around age 21, she said, Weinstein sent her some science-fiction books and suggested she might be right for a role in one of his projects. When they met at the hotel in 2010 de la Huerta was 26 and Weinstein was at the height of his powers as an Oscar-winning producer. The Weinstein Company was about to enter a streak that would see it win best picture at the Academy Awards two years in a row, first for The King’s Speech in 2011 and then The Artist in 2012. Weinstein offered de la Huerta a ride home to Tribeca. In de la Huerta’s account of the night, Weinstein arrived at her apartment demanding to come inside and have a drink. “Things got very uncomfortable very fast,” the actress, now 33, told Vanity Fair in a phone interview on Wednesday.

“Immediately when we got inside the house, he started to kiss me and I kind of brushed [him] away,” de la Huerta said. “Then he pushed me onto the bed and his pants were down and he lifted up my skirt. I felt afraid. . . . It wasn’t consensual . . . It happened very quickly. . . . He stuck himself inside me. . . . When he was done he said he’d be calling me. I kind of just laid on the bed in shock.”

De la Huerta described a second assault that allegedly happened in late December 2010, when Weinstein showed up in her building lobby after she came home from a photo shoot. The actress said she had been drinking, and was frightened by Weinstein, who had been repeatedly calling her, despite her asking him to leave her alone. “He hushed me and said, ‘Let’s talk about this in your apartment,’” de la Huerta said. “I was in no state. I was so terrified of him. . . . I did say no, and when he was on top of me I said, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He kept humping me and it was disgusting. He’s like a pig. . . . He raped me.”

Afterward, de la Huerta said, “I laid there feeling sick. He looked at me and said, ‘I’ll put you in a play.’ He left and I never heard from him again. He knew he had done a bad thing.”


In many respects, de la Huerta’s story mirrors the more than 60 other women who have opened up about the producer since allegations of his sexual misconduct first appeared in The New York Times and The New Yorker last month. But her case is unusual in one key respect—it may see charges brought against Weinstein. De la Huerta has been interviewed by New York Police Department detective Nicholas DiGaudio, who is leading the Weinstein investigation, and her attorney has provided material to New York District Attorney Maxine B. Rosenthal, who is considering bringing charges in the case.

Because de la Huerta alleges a forceful rape which happened after June 2006, within New York’s statute of limitations for rape in the first degree, her case is among the most compelling for prosecutors. DiGaudio confirmed that he has spoken with de la Huerta, along with other women, as part of the department’s investigation into Weinstein. “I believe based on my interviews with Paz that from the N.Y.P.D. standpoint we have enough to make an arrest,” DiGaudio said. The department has reason to assemble its case with particular care. In 2015, the N.Y.P.D. questioned Weinstein in connection with a groping allegation involving an Italian model named Ambra Battilana, but the D.A. declined to move forward with the case, citing insufficient evidence to prove a crime. Police in London and Los Angeles are also pursuing potential criminal cases.

Through a spokeswoman, Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” any allegations of nonconsensual sex. She reiterated that position when reached Thursday.

At the time of the alleged assaults, de la Huerta said she told one person—her therapist, SueAnne Piliero, who recently supplied a letter to the actress about her recollections from those sessions. “I recall you telling me that Harvey Weinstein was seeking sexual contact with you on more than one occasion with the promise of additional roles,” Piliero said in the letter, which de la Huerta has shared with Vanity Fair and with the New York district attorney’s office. “I recall you reporting to me a sexual encounter with Harvey Weinstein involving intercourse in your apartment in 2010 that resulted in you feeling victimized. I recall you telling me that it felt coercive to you and that you didn’t want to have sex with him, but felt that you had to as he was a man of power and rank and you couldn’t say no to his sexual advances.”

In 2014, de la Huerta told another person about the alleged assaults, a journalist named Alexis Faith, who recorded the conversation but never published it at the actress’s request. “I was always scared, because when I was younger anyone that had ever hurt me somehow, they were protected and I was the one who got into trouble,” de la Huerta said. “I didn’t want to say something that they were gonna make it look like I’m just some slutty girl.” Faith has provided the recording of that conversation to the D.A., a person familiar with the case said.

After her experiences with Weinstein, de la Huerta said her life and career took a dark turn. She became depressed and drank excessively; after a second season, HBO did not renew her Boardwalk Empire contract.

“I was very traumatized,” de la Huerta said. “I don’t think I was taking very good care of myself. What happened with Harvey left me scarred for many years. I felt so disgusted by it, with myself . . . I became a little self-destructive. It was really hard for me to deal, to cope.”


During a stunt accident while filming the 2013 horror movie Nurse 3D, de la Huerta broke her tailbone and fractured her spine. She has continued to work in independent films, recently playing Hippolyta in an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For the upcoming movie Puppy Love, de la Huerta filmed a role as a drug-addicted prostitute who is repeatedly abused. “I think it was very therapeutic for me to play her,” de la Huerta said. “Because I knew how she felt.”
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:14 pm

LAPD Officially Investigating Harvey Weinstein for Rape Allegations: Weinstein’s accuser paints a harrowing picture of the 2013 incident.
by Joanna Robinson
October 19, 2017 11:14 PM

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Following two explosive pieces in The New York Times and The New Yorker as well as growing accounts from some of the biggest names in Hollywood detailing years of sexual misconduct and assault from disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, the LAPD confirmed Thursday that it was officially investigating allegations of a 2013 rape. The alleged incident falls well within California’s 10-year statute of limitations and could mean Weinstein would potentially face up to eight-years behind bars under state law.

“Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but he unequivocally denies allegations of non-consensual sex,” Weinstein’s representatives said Thursday in response to the LAPD’s announcement. The Los Angeles Times spoke with Weinstein’s alleged victim, a 38 year-old Italian actress and model who sat down with the LAPD for two hours Thursday morning to review the 2013 incident. Though she remains anonymous out of fear of retaliation and in order to protect her children, the Times notes that the latest woman to accuse Weinstein “is well-known in Italy, where she appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue and as an actress in Italian films.”

She told the Times that her encounter with Weinstein took place at Mr. C Beverly Hills hotel in February 2013 following the 8th annual Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest. Though she declined to follow Weinstein up to his hotel room after the event, she recalls that the producer later appeared “without warning” in the lobby of her hotel after midnight, “bullied” his way into her room despite her refusal, and then “grabbed me by the hair and forced me to do something I did not want to do. He then dragged me to the bathroom and forcibly raped me.”

Weinstein’s accuser told the Times that later he “acted like nothing happened,” told her they might work together in the future, and even invited her to parties at his house.
She declined his invitations. “My client is grateful to all the courageous women who have already come forward to finally expose Weinstein,” Deadline reports the woman’s attorney, David Ring, saying on Thursday. “These women may not have realized it, but they gave my client the support and encouragement to hold Weinstein accountable for this horrible act.”

The woman told the Times she was also inspired by her three children. “I feel responsible that I didn't talk for years, I feel responsible that I didn't react that night and I didn't call the police, I feel responsible that I wasn't brave enough," she said. “All these years I’ve been thinking why I didn’t call the police immediately. I regret that I opened the [hotel] door.”

The LAPD’s investigation comes three days after the NYPD and London authorities announced they were pursuing at least five other accusations of rape and sexual assault against Weinstein. The dates on these cases range from the 1980s to 2015 including the one brought by model Ambra Battilana-Gutierrez who obtained damning audio of Weinstein released by The New Yorker. There is no statute of limitations in New York for first-degree criminal sex act.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:55 pm

Harvey Weinstein and Disney are targeted by a Canadian actress alleging sexual assault
by David Ng
November 01, 2017 | 03:45 PM

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A Canadian actress is reportedly planning to sue Harvey Weinstein and Walt Disney Co., contending that the producer sexually assaulted her twice in 2000. The complaint would be the first known instance of Disney being sued for a sex-related allegation against Weinstein, whose company Miramax was owned by Disney at the time.

The unnamed actress is seeking $14 million in damages, including $4 million from Weinstein, and $4 million from both Miramax and Disney, according to a report from the National Post in Toronto.

The plaintiff is also seeking $2 million from Barbara Schneeweiss, a longtime Weinstein associate who, the actress asserts, knew about her boss' proclivities but still arranged the meetings.

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-- Barbara Schneeweiss, producer (C) Harvey Weinstein and Lucas Carter are seen around Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on September 9, 2010 in New York City.


In a proposed statement of claim filed in a Toronto court, the actress, who is identified only as "Jane Doe," alleges that Weinstein invited her to his Toronto hotel room while she was working on a Miramax movie during the summer of 2000. There, the producer began talking about massages, which, the actress told him, was "not appropriate for a business meeting," according to the Post report.

Weinstein later led her to the bedroom and allegedly took out his penis, telling her he had made the careers of many famous actresses. He then allegedly pulled down her skirt, held her by the wrists and, despite her saying "no" several times,"forcibly performed oral sex on her without her consent."

The second alleged incident took place at the same hotel after Weinstein asked her back to explain the "misunderstanding," according to the report. The producer allegedly "threw his weight onto her and tried to stick his tongue down her throat."


Arguments on the new claim are scheduled to be heard Monday.

A representative for Weinstein didn't reply for a request for comment. He has denied claims of nonconsensual sex. Disney also didn't respond to a request for comment.

The Burbank-based entertainment giant said in a statement published by other outlets that "the Weinsteins operated and managed their business with virtual autonomy, and we were unaware of any complaints, lawsuits, or settlements. There is absolutely no legal basis for this claim against The Walt Disney Company and we will defend against it vigorously."

Disney acquired Miramax in 1993. The company parted ways with Harvey and Bob Weinstein in 2005 and sold off Miramax five years later.

The new allegations appear to be different from those made by another Canadian actress, Larissa Gomes, who contends Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her about 17 years ago.

More than 60 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault since the New York Times first broke the story Oct. 5.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:04 pm

Canadian actress Larissa Gomes alleges Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her
by Victoria Kim
October 17, 2017

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(Lilly Lawrence / Getty Images)

A Canadian actress added her voice to the chorus of women bringing allegations against Harvey Weinstein, saying the producer asked her to bare her chest and tried to kiss her on the lips while name-dropping famous actresses and dangling career opportunities.

Larissa Gomes was a 21-year-old actress about 17 years ago when she was working on the Toronto set of “Get Over It,” a Miramax-produced teen flick, she wrote in an account emailed to The Times this week. Weinstein approached her and asked for her opinion about the production, and mentioned multiple films his company shoots in Canada each year.

“I had literally just began acting … and here I was meeting the most powerful producer of the time,” she wrote. “It was intoxicating, it was validating.”

Gomes, who has since appeared in the film “Saw VI” and television shows “Supernatural” and “La Femme Nikita,” said Weinstein asked her for her personal number through an assistant, then set up a breakfast meeting at his hotel. The first meeting was professional, after which he asked to meet again in his hotel room, this time in the early evening, Gomes said.

After plopping down a stack of scripts in front of her that he said he wanted her to read, he went into his bedroom and asked her to come in, she recounted.

Weinstein was on his bed, saying he had a headache, she said. He asked her to lie down with him and asked her to take her shirt off so he could see her breasts, Gomes said. She left the room, and he followed in a bathrobe and started massaging her shoulders and neck despite her saying she didn’t want it, Gomes said.

“He would not stop. He just kept pushing his hands close to my chest forcefully until I finally was able to get up and away from him,” she wrote.

Weinstein told her, “You know, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd were exactly where you are at one point. Look at them now,” Gomes recounted.

Gomes said she made an excuse to leave at that point, and Weinstein, at the door, grabbed her and tried to kiss her on the lips. She said she turned her head, and he sneered. She never saw or spoke to him again.


“I was silent … I wasn’t even sure if this was considered assault, in my mind I thought that since I got away then it isn’t,” she wrote. “I was very young and vulnerable, and that was what he was banking on.”

In an interview, Gomes said she never got over her encounter with Weintein.

"I was so incredibly discouraged and disillusioned. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a part of the industry any more if this is what it was," she said. "This was definitely...something I’d never forget."

More than 30 women have alleged they were sexually harassed or assaulted by Weinstein. The disgraced mogul has expressed remorse about his behavior but has denied having nonconsensual sex with women.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:03 pm

I Worked at a Beverly Hills Hotel and Witnessed Sickening Behavior (Guest Column)
by Chris Gardner
Hollywood Reporter
November 01, 2017 6:00am PT

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A former PR director of The Peninsula Beverly Hills reveals the protocol of handling top executives including Harvey Weinstein, who was a frequent guest: "There's a reason bellmen were tipped better than anyone."

In 1997, Ashley Judd joined Harvey Weinstein at The Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for a breakfast meeting, which the concierge informed her was to take place in the movie mogul's room. In the suite, the shocked actress fought off his sexual advances and, as she said in an Oct. 26 interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, "made a deal" to have sex with him after an Oscar win in order to escape. "Who was I to tell?" Judd told Diane Sawyer. "Was I going to tell the concierge who sent me up to the room?" The hotel — in a statement released to THR by parent company Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited — states that, yes, the concierge would have been obliged to act: "Hotel guests are entitled to privacy when staying with us, unless a complaint or allegation is made to our staff, in which case … we will not hesitate to ask a guest to leave if evidence is found that he or she has sexually harassed our staff members." However, in an interview, a former PR director for the hotel talks of a natural complicity to protect and keep VIP guests:

People have asked me, "Did you know?" I knew he was a bully. If his room service order was delayed, he would flip over the tray. Mr. Weinstein was known for screaming and for walking into the restaurant and demanding to know why his table wasn't ready, even if he had not made a reservation or canceled his reservation. He was high maintenance, but most top executives are. That behavior was common. But not so much that you would turn away the business. I don't know that anyone would ever have turned that business away.

Hotels are about generating revenue. If your guest, Mr. Weinstein, were coming in from New York, spending $980 per night for eight nights and taking meetings to include food and beverage service and room service, that's a nice piece of business. You find out his favorite wine or beverage, and you cater to that — not to his behavior but to the revenue he produces. Mr. Weinstein was probably there at least one time a month, in addition to pre- and post-Academy Awards for a significant time. The Miramax business mattered to the hotel. He and his brother, Bob, would stay in large suites, and the company would bring in other executives as well.

Guests would come to the concierge at the front desk and ask to see Harvey Weinstein, and we would call and send them up. That's how business was conducted. CAA was across the street at the time, and he held many meetings there; so did many entertainment industry insiders.

A woman would come to see Mr. Weinstein, and it would be confirmed if that is what he wanted, and she was then sent to his suite. I don't think there were women who hesitated that I knew of, but it was likely that they expected the meeting to take place in the foyer of a suite or in the office of a villa.

It wasn't at all unusual to see a high-level entertainment executive stay at the hotel for two weeks, and during that time, special guests who were clearly not the wife would join him. After entertaining those "guests" for several days, they would disappear, and halfway through the week, the wife, nanny and kids joined from New York. Everyone would know. It's an intimate, small hotel; it wasn't lost on anyone what was really going on, but it was never discussed. The wife could be 45 years old and the other guest maybe 20 years old. What happened at the hotel stayed at the hotel, and there's a reason bellmen were tipped better than anyone else in the entire hotel.

The higher up they are in an organization, the more you see it. It was so disappointing. As a 30-something professional, you wind up saying to yourself, "Him, too?" "Him, too?" "Him, too?" It causes you to lose faith in humanity a bit. On the flip side, it was fascinating to watch these men place the level of confidence they did in doormen. The doormen always knew when the girlfriend was leaving and the wife was coming, and that meant they helped take out any of the girlfriend's belongings and sweep the room just to be safe. It's a fascinating, well-oiled machine. That's one of the reasons these guys kept coming back: Their secrets were kept.

Hotels are really sexy. The more luxurious, expensive and elite, the more attractive they become — and they're open 24 hours a day. Hotels are a safe and discreet place where sex happens for people outside of their partnerships. Confidentiality is deeply entrenched, etched in the DNA of the employees. What you see is never to be repeated, and that goes for everyone from the housekeeper to the GM. If an employee had witnessed someone getting hurt or any harassment, they would raise the issue to a supervisor first. The police may not necessarily be the first phone call.

I don't know that I feel responsible for what Mr. Weinstein did at The Peninsula, but I'm really mad, saddened and sickened that this really bad behavior went on in a place where we, as employees, worked so hard to create something so special. To know that these women walked through that lobby to go upstairs to see that pig, and that's what happened? I'm really resentful that so much happened there. Gwyneth Paltrow's story in particular — no 22-year-old young lady should ever have to endure that.


***

And an in-dining employee at the Montage Beverly Hills hotel recalls a traumatizing run-in with the producer:

Before occupying his Peninsula lair, Weinstein stayed at The Beverly Hills Hotel, where his association was reportedly ended due to staff and guests’ complaints including women entering and leaving his room. (The hotel declined to comment.) Several former employees of the Montage Beverly Hills, the hotel that Weinstein utilized starting in 2008 when it opened (before returning to the Peninsula), told tales of intimidation. A kitchen worker says, “Whenever he was staying at Montage, the in-room dining staff dreaded it. The housekeeping ladies did, too — I heard that he was filthy and they hated cleaning up a room he had just vacated,” while room-service worker describes how “the staff was strictly prohibited to greet him, speak to him, or even look at him,” upon the producer’s arrival. “The description on the PMA [computerized communication] system of how he wanted his arrival to be approaching the porte cochere were made in capital letters with several exclamation marks. If something wasn’t to his liking, he would raise hell completely.” The employee recounts a traumatizing encounter in 2010.

One day he placed a call to in-room dining. I knew it was him because it came from the presidential suite. When I picked up the phone, he started to bark orders like a mad man. He demanded sushi. Our sushi bar wasn’t open yet, but since I knew he was a big VIP, I wanted to make it happen. So I asked to place him on hold to find out if I could get one of the chefs to prepare the sushi. He stayed quiet for a second, then was like, "ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE PLACE ME ON FUCKING HOLD, YOU STUPID …" It was like that. I was in such shock. So I said, "OK, I’ll just make it happen."

I’ve never been verbally assaulted before. I had to take 10 minutes and cried, really cried. I brought it to the attention of my management and they were like, "Sorry, but you know how he is." Everyone was complicit because of who he was, the most powerful man in Hollywood.


This is how it works in luxury. I’ve worked in hospitality for 10 years, nine of those years in very luxurious hotels. There’s a certain complicity between the management and the people that frequent it. Harassment happens especially in high-end hospitality because when they’re paying thousands of dollars to rent a room, we’re basically in their homes. They feel like they can get away with anything. It’s a playground for them, and they can get away with being disgusting.

It can get a little scary for women servers. They get offered money for sex. There’s a ton of stories from girls who work in high-end hospitality. I’ve seen it happen, it has happened to me. Management knows but they don’t really do much to protect us. If I bring it to their attention, "Oh, don’t interact with him again. We’ll send someone else." But as far as confronting those people, no, they don’t, because they’re afraid of getting sued. We walked on shells when we knew he was on property. It was a very toxic environment when he was visiting.


If I would have complained, I know no one would taken me seriously or taken my word over their word because of the power these people have. And [Weinstein] never tipped, not at all. (Laughs.) It was like serving an ogre, it really was.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:22 pm

Uma Thurman's Response To Hollywood's Sexual Harassment Scandal Is Perfect: More than 90 women have now come out with allegations against the Hollywood producer.
by Max Koslowski
HuffPost Australia
05/11/2017 7:01 PM AEDT | Updated 05/11/2017 7:07 PM AEDT

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American actress Uma Thurman has given a chilling response to questions about allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

At the premiere of 'The Parisian Woman' Thurman spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, saying that the actions of women who had spoken out against figures like Weinstein were "commendable".

But before expanding on that, Thurman gave this message:

"I don't have a tidy soundbite for you because I am not a child, and I have learned that when I have spoken in anger, I usually regret the way I express myself".

"So I've been waiting to feel less angry, and when I'm ready I'll say what I have to say".

More than 90 women have now come out with allegations against Weinstein, now including actresses like Gwyneth Paltrow, Lupita Nyong'o, Ashley Judd and Angelina Jolie.

In recent days the New York Police Department has declared that they are investigating claims of rape against the producer.

AP Eastern U.S. ✔@APEastRegion
BREAKING: NYC police say they have a credible rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein, are gathering evidence for possible arrest.
1:06 PM - Nov 3, 2017


The allegations against Weinstein have also spurred on fresh claims against other Hollywood figures, such as director James Toback, and 'House of Cards' actor Kevin Spacey.

Thurman has worked with Weinstein on 'Pulp Fiction' and the 'Kill Bill' movies.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:31 pm

Over 300 Women Chime In After L.A. Times Details Director’s Sex Abuse Reputation: After his initial story on James Toback, the reporter says 310 women have contacted him with similar accounts.
by Doha Madani
October 26, 2017

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The Los Angeles Times has fielded literally hundreds of stories about sexual harassment involving director James Toback.

L.A. Times writer Glenn Whipp, whose article Sunday about 38 women’s allegations against Toback, tweeted Thursday that 310 women have contacted him so far about their encounters with the writer-director. Whipp’s article came in the wake of growing allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

“He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes,” Toback accuser Louise Post, the guitarist and vocalist for the rock band Veruca Salt, told the Times.

Toback has had a long, ugly history with women, dating at least to the 1980s, when a 1989 Spy magazine report claimed that Toback used his position as a Hollywood director to ask women if they’d consider a role in one of his forthcoming films and then would ask them to meet him late at night.

Glenn Whipp ✔@GlennWhipp
UPDATE: The number of women who have contacted me about their encounters with James Toback now stands at 310. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/mo ... story.html
2:42 PM - Oct 26, 2017

200 more women share their James Toback stories after 38 accuse director of sexual harassment
After a story about director James Toback's alleged serial sexual harassment broke in the Los Angeles Times, the LAPD and New York District Attorney's office began fielding calls from a growing...
latimes.com


Actresses Selma Blair, Rachel McAdams and Julianne Moore have all come forward with allegations against Toback.

Blair told Vanity Fair that her representatives set up a meeting with Toback in 1999, when the director asked the actress, then in her mid-20s, to read a monologue naked in his hotel room. After initially declining, Blair says, Toback insisted he was “training” her to be a better actress. So she complied.

At one point, Blair claimed, Toback began rubbing his penis through his pants before asking her, “Would you fuck me?”

“I tried to look away, but he would hold my face,” Blair told Vanity Fair. “So I was forced to look into his eyes. And I felt disgust and shame, and like nobody would ever think of me as being clean again after being this close to the devil. His energy was so sinister.”


Women have been opening up publicly about their encounters with sexual violence and harassment in the wake of the Weinstein accusations. A viral internet campaign, #MeToo, has highlighted the prevalence of harassment, which most believe is all too common.

Celebrities have taken a lead in telling their own stories, including Rose McGowan, America Ferrera, Reese Witherspoon and Ashley Judd. Men have also come forward detailing uncomfortable situations of harassment, including “Brooklyn-Nine-Nine” star Terry Crews.

A 2010 study based on a decade of data found that only 2 percent to 10 percent of sexual assault allegations are false reports, dispelling the myth that many women lie about it. If that percentage were applied to the Toback harassment allegations, there would still be at least 279 women reporting truthful episodes of sexual misconduct.

Sexual harassment and assault are some of the most underreported crimes in the United States. Only 344 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:37 pm

38 women have come forward to accuse director James Toback of sexual harassment
by Glenn Whipp
October 22, 2017 | 04:40 PM

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38 women have come forward to accuse director James Toback of sexual harassment.

He prowled the streets of Manhattan looking for attractive young women, usually in their early 20s, sometimes college students, on occasion a high schooler. He approached them in Central Park, standing in line at a bank or drug store or at a copy center while they worked on their resumes.

His opening line had a few variations. One went: "My name's James Toback. I'm a movie director. Have you ever seen 'Black and White' or 'Two Girls and a Guy'?"

Probably not. So he’d start to drop names. He had an Oscar nomination for writing the Warren Beatty movie “Bugsy.” He directed Robert Downey Jr., in three movies. The actor, Toback claimed, was a close friend; he had “invented him.” If you didn’t believe him, he would pull out a business card or an article that had been written about him to prove he had some juice in Hollywood. That he could make you a star.

But first, he'd need to get to know you. Intimately. Trust him, he'd say. It's all part of his process.

Then, in a hotel room, a movie trailer, a public park, meetings framed as interviews or auditions quickly turned sexual, according to 38 women who, in separate interviews told the Los Angeles Times of similar encounters they had with Toback.


I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends. And I deserved not to tell anyone.
-- ADRIENNE LAVALLEY, ACTRE


During these meetings, many of the women said, Toback boasted of sexual conquests with the famous and then asked humiliating personal questions. How often do you masturbate? How much pubic hair do you have? He'd tell them, they said, that he couldn't properly function unless he "jerked off" several times a day. And then he'd dry-hump them or masturbate in front of them, ejaculating into his pants or onto their bodies and then walk away. Meeting over.

The women's accounts portray James Toback as a man who, for decades, sexually harassed women he hired, women looking for work and women he just saw on the street. The vast majority of these women — 31 of the 38 interviewed — spoke on the record. The Times also interviewed people that the women informed of the incidents when they occurred.

As is often the case, none of them contacted the police at the time. When contacted by The Times, Toback denied the allegations, saying that he had never met any of these women or, if he did, it "was for five minutes and have no recollection." He also repeatedly claimed that for the last 22 years, it had been "biologically impossible" for him to engage in the behavior described by the women in this story, saying he had diabetes and a heart condition that required medication. Toback declined to offer further details.

The women interviewed during The Times' investigation offered accounts that differed from Toback's recollections.

"The way he presented it, it was like, 'This is how things are done,'" actress Adrienne LaValley said of a 2008 hotel room encounter that ended with Toback trying to rub his crotch against her leg. When she recoiled, he stood up and ejaculated in his pants. "I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends. And I deserved not to tell anyone."

"In a weird sense, I thought, 'This is a test of whether I'm a real artist and serious about acting,'" remembered Starr Rinaldi, who was an aspiring actress when Toback approached her in Central Park about 15 years ago. "He always wanted me to read for him in a hotel or come back to his apartment, like, 'How serious are you about your craft?'"

He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes.
-- LOUISE POST, GUITARIST AND VOCALIST FOR VERUCA SALT


"And the horrible thing is, whichever road you choose, whether you sleep with him or walk away, you're still broken," Rinaldi continued. "You have been violated."

Like Harvey Weinstein, Toback, now 72, was a big, hulking man with a reputation, so much so that he titled his 1987 semi-autobiographical movie “The Pick-up Artist.” He has been a writer/director since 1974; his most recent film, “The Private Life of a Modern Woman” starring Sienna Miller, premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Media profiles often referred to him as a womanizer. Lurking underneath were darker rumors of creepy behavior, reported in 1989 by Spy magazine and, more recently, by Gawker.

According to the 38 women who spoke to The Times, the scope of Toback's behavior was far more serious.

"He told me he'd love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes," said Louise Post, who met Toback in 1987 while attending Barnard College. Post, now a guitarist and vocalist for the indie rock band Veruca Salt, added: "Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible."

In the wake of Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein being fired after reports revealed decades of sexual misconduct, many women have been coming forward with tales of harassment, abuse and assault. On the Twitter hashtag campaign #MeToo, Toback has his own special universe. The Veruca Salt account tweeted on Monday: "Us too: by bosses, boyfriends, male babysitters, taxi drivers, strangers and movie director/pig #jamestoback #metoo."

Kelley Raleigh @kelleyraleigh
I have my own story about #jamestoback from when I was 18. It was vile & disgusting. He was around 50 at the time. That's why I believe her https://twitter.com/ambertamblyn/status ... 1359856640
9:50 PM - Sep 16, 2017


"It's a common thread among many women I know … after someone mentions they were sexually abused by a creepy writer-director, the response is, 'Oh, no. You got Toback-ed,'" said Karen Sklaire, a New York drama teacher, actor and playwright who said a 1997 meeting with Toback in an office ended with him grinding against her leg. "The numbers are staggering."

Toback always kept his credentials handy when he introduced himself to women. He had amassed a solid body of work over four decades: His 1974 debut, "The Gambler" starring James Caan, the three movies with Downey Jr., a sympathetic documentary about boxer Mike Tyson and, of course, that Oscar-nominated screenplay for "Bugsy," the 1991 portrait of gangster Bugsy Siegel, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Beatty and Annette Bening.

Toback's movies often examine extremes — gambling, drinking, womanizing — that he says overlap with his own demons. "The idea is not to have a separation between my life and my movies," Toback said in a 2002 Salon interview. His characters are often on edge — Harvey Keitel's pianist in "Fingers," the teenagers infatuated with hip-hop culture in "Black and White."

I was shocked and frozen and didn’t know what to do. I thought if I resisted, it could get worse. He could overpower me.
TERRI CONN, ACTRE


As a writer/director, Toback liked to push the envelope sexually. The widely panned 2004 drama "When Will I Be Loved" opened with a five-minute shot of Neve Campbell masturbating with a shower nozzle.

Off-screen he constantly brought up those provocative scenes, say the majority of the women interviewed by The Times, to see how far they were willing to go, both during the audition process and, should they be cast, in his movies.

"The more time you spend with him, the weirder it gets until it's like just like one giant red flag," said Los Angeles radio reporter Anna Scott.

Scott was an 18-year-old senior at Manhattan's Hunter College High School when Toback approached her at a deli across the street from her campus. He told her he was working on a movie called "Black and White," that it starred boxer Tyson and he was casting complete unknowns. He asked if Scott was interested in acting. She was about to attend USC to study screenwriting. She thought she had made a fortuitous connection.

Toback invited Scott to a taping of the "Charlie Rose" show, where he was part of a panel. After the taping, he told her, they could talk more about the movie. But as they walked the streets of Midtown, the conversation quickly veered into sexual territory, including queries about masturbation and pubic hair.

"It was disgusting and embarrassing," Scott said. "I tried to extricate myself from it without causing a scene."


Veruca Salt ✔@verucasalt
Us too: by bosses, boyfriends, male babysitters, taxi drivers, strangers and movie director/pig #jamestoback #metoo
11:35 AM - Oct 16, 2017


Instead, Toback steered her into a restaurant where, she said he told her, "You have to be ready to turn yourself completely over to me." Finally, she abruptly stood up and fled.

In his trailer on the set of "Black and White," Toback knelt in front of actress Echo Danon and, she says, put his hands on her thighs, telling her, "If you look into my eyes and pinch my nipples, I'm going to come in my pants right now." She resisted. She felt helpless. Eventually he backed down.

"Everyone wants to work, so they put up with it," Danon said. "That's why I put up with it. Because I was hoping to get another job."

Toback approached Sari Kamin at a Kinko's in Manhattan's Upper West Side in 2003. He pulled out a DVD copy of "Two Girls and a Guy" and told her he'd like to cast her in his next movie. He said he felt an instant connection to her.

After several dinners over the course of a few months, Kamin says, Toback convinced her to accompany him to a hotel room, telling her that he needed to experience a "real connection" with her. Alarms went off, she says. She knew she wouldn't sleep with him, but she felt like if she could make it through the evening, maybe she'd finally land a part.

Once in the suite, Kamin says, Toback asked her to take off her clothes. She protested. Toback berated her, saying that if she couldn't reveal herself to him in the hotel room, how would she be able to act in a provocative sex scene in front of a movie crew? She gave in, removed her clothes. After commenting on her body, he knelt down before her and began to vigorously rub his groin against her.

"I felt really paralyzed," Kamin recalled. "And I asked him, 'Are you trying to get yourself off?' And he said, 'Absolutely.'" She jumped out of her chair, grabbed her clothes and ran.

Not all of the incidents in the women's accounts occurred in private. Terri Conn was 23 and acting on the soap opera "As the World Turns" when, she says, Toback approached her on the street. She was intrigued by his credentials and dreamed of being in an edgy independent film. Toback asked her to meet him in Central Park to discuss his process. He took her to a somewhat secluded area — there were people yards away — and told her the best way to get to know someone is to see their soul. And the way you can see someone's soul is to look into their eyes when they're experiencing orgasm. And he knelt before her and began humping her leg, telling Conn to look into his eyes.

"I was shocked and frozen and didn't know what to do," Conn said. "I thought if I resisted, it could get worse. He could overpower me." He quickly ejaculated into his khakis, got up and asked her to meet for dinner later to continue the process. Conn ignored his subsequent phone calls and never saw him again.

Chantal Cousineau was 19 and living in Toronto when, she says, she was asked to meet Toback for an audition for "Harvard Man" in 2001. The encounter began in a hotel restaurant and ended in his hotel room, with Cousineau prepared to walk away after Toback kept talking about masturbation. When she reached the door, he told her, "Calm down, you've got the part," as though the whole thing had been a test.


Cousineau didn't believe him, but her modeling agent called shortly afterward to confirm the casting. During a rehearsal for a monologue in which her character — a drug dealer — looks directly into the camera, she heard Toback, 10 feet away, on the other side of a half wall where the set's portable monitors were located, grunting, his hands rubbing, loud and rapid, against his windbreaker pants as he masturbated. After issuing a pronounced grunt, she said, Toback told the crew to break for 15 minutes.
When he returned to the set, Toback excused the camera man and sat two feet from Cousineau's face as she delivered her monologue, the first time she had ever been on film.

"I felt so violated," she said. "And there was my abuser, inches away from me."

Several of the women The Times interviewed quit acting after their encounters with Toback. Some returned to school. Some got married and buried their incident, never telling their husbands because of a sense of shame. Then the Weinstein scandal hit, and, for many, the news dredged up memories they had long repressed.

"Today, I cried for the first time since then about it," Post said. "I was crying for the 20-year-old woman who lost something vital that day — her innocence."


Echo Danon @echodanon
If you were involved in the film business in the '90s you knew that #harveyweinstien was a sexual predator.Another one was #JamesToback
6:49 PM - Oct 10, 2017


But even as an ever-growing list of high-profile women recount their sexual abuse on social media and in first-person accounts, many women remain afraid. Several women said he told them intimidating stories, some of which verged on the ridiculous, like when he informed flight attendant Ashly McQueen in 1998 that he killed someone at the racetrack with a pencil.

This woman asked to remain anonymous; she still feared for her safety 23 years after Toback humped her leg in his office until he ejaculated in his pants. Others interviewed for this story requested anonymity as well, fearing retaliation. One woman recounted the time when she met Toback at his New York home and he wouldn't let her leave until she grabbed his nipples and looked into his eyes while he masturbated.


Another well-known actress had a similar experience in 2000 at a Los Angeles hotel during what she thought was to be an audition. As with so many other women, Toback told her he felt a connection with her but that she needed to display the sexual confidence the role required. She needed to remove her clothes. "I am really uncomfortable," she replied."That's the whole point of this exercise," she says Toback told her.

The young woman, then a rising Hollywood star, wondered why she was so uncomfortable, why she couldn't just be naked in front of someone. So she took off her sweater, but started to cry. She stumbled through the monologue Toback had given her, thinking, "God, I really am a bad actress. I can't concentrate. I'm just trying to get through this."

Toback brought up all the famous people he had worked with, boasting about how he had made their careers and telling her he could do the same for her — if she trusted him. She thought maybe he was right. But she still wanted to leave. She pulled on her sweater. He blocked the hotel room door. He told her he needed to ejaculate and she had to help him.


"People who go against me … I know people that hurt people," he warned her. Then he asked if she'd have sex with him. No. Would she jerk him off? No.

She went for the door. He told her he couldn't let her go unless he had sexual release. All she needed to do was pinch his nipples and look into his eyes and he would press himself against her and come in his pants. She felt she had no choice. And while it was happening, she tried to look away, but he grabbed her head and made her stare into his eyes.

Her manager told her not long afterward that he wanted to see her again. Her reply: He's a vile person. And you shouldn't ever send another woman to him.


Times staff writer Victoria Kim contributed to this report.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:02 am

200 more women share their James Toback stories after 38 accuse director of sexual harassment
by Glenn Whipp
L.A. Times
October 23, 2017 | 09:00 PM

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Filmmaker James Toback has long had a bad reputation with women.

Stories about the writer-director often referred to him as a womanizer, but what that actually meant did not become clear until the Los Angeles Times published an investigation Sunday in which 38 women accused the writer-director of sexual harassment.

Within two days those numbers swelled as more than 200 additional women contacted The Times and, in emails and phone calls, recalled encounters with Toback similar to those detailed in the story. The majority of the new accounts, which have not been verified, told of Toback approaching women on the streets of Manhattan, offering them the chance at a part in an upcoming movie, and a wide range of unwanted sexual advances and behavior.

"Today Show" anchor Natalie Morales, wrote on Twitter: "… add one more. Exact same playbook by James Toback when I encountered him near Central Park."

"In all honesty, I thought he was just a creep hitting on me with the oldest line in the book," Morales told The Times, after detailing her experience on "Access Hollywood."

"Like I said on our show I was just lucky. I saw pretty quickly what he was up to," she added.

22 Oct
Glenn Whipp ✔ @GlennWhipp
UPDATE: 38 women contacted me for this story. That number has now doubled since it was published. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la ... story.html


Natalie Morales ✔@NMoralesNBC
Glenn add one more. Exact same playbook by James Toback when I encountered him near Central Park.
11:15 AM - Oct 23, 2017


The Los Angeles Police Department has fielded numerous phone calls related to Toback in the last few days, said LAPD Det. Danetta Menifee.

She said the department's special assault section of its Robbery-Homicide Division is currently sorting through the calls to determine the nature of the complaints and where the encounters occurred and if the LAPD is going to conduct an investigation.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney's office said women are being encouraged to call the office's sex crimes hotline number in relation to Toback, who lives in New York. Several of the women included in The Times' investigation confirmed they had contacted the district attorney's office in the past week to file complaints.

Meanwhile, Toback's longtime agent, former ICM chief Jeff Berg, terminated his relationship with the filmmaker over the weekend, according to a spokesperson for Berg's Los Angeles firm, Northside Services.

The Times’ story detailed a pattern of behavior, carried out over four decades, in which Toback approached women in New York and Los Angeles, boasting of his movie credits and relationships with stars such as Robert Downey Jr. Then, under the pretext of meetings framed as interviews or auditions, he asked explicit questions about the women’s sexual histories, often proposing that they remove their clothes.

The encounters often ended, according to many of the women interviewed, with Toback dry-humping them or masturbating in front of them, ejaculating into his pants or onto their bodies.


Toback, 72, denied the allegations to The Times, saying he had never met the women or, if he did, it "was for five minutes and have no recollection." He also repeatedly claimed that for the last 22 years it had been "biologically impossible" for him to engage in the behavior described by his accusers.

Reached Monday for response to the additional allegations, Toback declined to comment.
Hollywood reacted to the allegations against Toback with blistering anger. "Guardians of the Galaxy" writer-director James Gunn posted a Facebook screed in which he declared he had been warning about Toback's sexual come-ons for years.

"He has done this to three girls I've dated, two of my very best friends, and a family member... twice. Yes, he came up to her twice with the same stupid line, not realizing she was the same person," Gunn wrote. "This is in addition to many other women I've talked to at parties or dinners about their interactions with Toback."


James Gunn ✔@JamesGunn
Why I’ve despised James Toback for over 20 years #JamesToback https://www.facebook.com/jgunn/posts/10154644838841157
12:15 PM - Oct 22, 2017


Scott Derrickson ✔@scottderrickson
If there is a Hell, James Toback will be in it.
9:36 AM - Oct 22, 2017


Reactions from Hollywood's guilds were less definitive.

Toback belongs to the Writers Guild of America, East. A representative for the organization did not immediately respond to an inquiry about any potential action to revoke his membership.

Earlier this month, in the wake of the revelations of similar charges of sexual misconduct against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, the group issued a statement calling his actions “deplorable” and saying the guild “has a role to play in moving our industry in the right direction."

Toback, who has directed a dozen films, has not been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 2005. A representative for the DGA, which announced last week it had filed disciplinary charges against Weinstein, declined to discuss Toback's history with the organization or whether any complaints had been lodged with them about his behavior.

Toback told The Times last Friday that his Directors Guild membership lapsed because he didn't pay his membership dues.

Toback has not been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for nearly a decade because he failed to pay his annual dues, an academy spokesperson said Monday. Toback had been nominated for a screenwriting Oscar for the 1991 film "Bugsy."

The Screen Actors Guild maintains a hotline for its members to confidentially report what it refers to as "safety violations including harassment and inappropriate or aggressive behavior." The guild declined to state whether it had received such complaints against Toback, citing privacy issues.

Publisher Judith Regan told The Times Monday that allegations against Toback didn't surprise her. She alleged that he threatened to "ruin her" after she filed a lawsuit against him in July for breach of contract, fraud and unjust enrichment.

Regan said Toback failed to deliver a Hollywood memoir she had paid him to write for her imprint, Regan Arts, four years ago. (Toback declined to comment.)

"He's completely impossible," Regan said. "I wish I had never met him and, from the looks of it, I don't appear to be the only one."


Times staff writer Josh Rottenberg contributed to this story.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:28 am

Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies: The film executive hired private investigators, including ex-Mossad agents, to track actresses and journalists.
by Ronan Farrow
November 6, 2017, 6:31 P.M.

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image
Illustration by Adam Maida; Source Photographs by Lenny/IPA/REX/Shutterstock (Argento); Paul Sancya / AP (McGowan); Charles Eshelman / FilmMagic / Getty (Sciorra); Jim Spellman / WireImage / Getty (Weinstein)

In the fall of 2016, Harvey Weinstein set out to suppress allegations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted numerous women. He began to hire private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations. According to dozens of pages of documents, and seven people directly involved in the effort, the firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature.

Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her. One of the investigators pretended to be a women’s-rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan. The same operative, using a different false identity and implying that she had an allegation against Weinstein, met twice with a journalist to find out which women were talking to the press. In other cases, journalists directed by Weinstein or the private investigators interviewed women and reported back the details.


The explicit goal of the investigations, laid out in one contract with Black Cube, signed in July, was to stop the publication of the abuse allegations against Weinstein that eventually emerged in the New York Times and The New Yorker. Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies “target,” or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focussed on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally. He also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.

In some cases, the investigative effort was run through Weinstein’s lawyers, including David Boies, a celebrated attorney who represented Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential-election dispute and argued for marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court. Boies personally signed the contract directing Black Cube to attempt to uncover information that would stop the publication of a Times story about Weinstein’s abuses, while his firm was also representing the Times, including in a libel case.

BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL
BLACK CUBE

Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP
575 Lexington Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10022
USA
11 July 2017

Letter of Engagement

1. This Letter of Engagement sets out the terms whereby Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP (Hereafter “the Firm”) is engaging B.C. Strategy UK Ltd., a limited company incorporated in England and Wales (registered number: 0815397, hereinafter “Black Cube”), on behalf of a client, (hereafter “the Client”). This letter explains the research process and scope of the litigation support services to be provided to the Client, and attached to it you will find our Terms and Conditions, which shall be considered as a part of this letter.

General

2. B.C. Strategy UK Ltd is a business intelligence and strategic consultancy firm based in London, Tel-Aviv and Paris. The company, owner of the Black Cube brand in Israel, USA, UK, European Union, Hong Kong, Australia and other countries, specializes in finding tailored solutions to business challenges by gathering high quality intelligence and providing its clients strategic consultancy and guidance. The firm specializes in delivering end-to-end research into corporations, individuals and product markets.

3. Black Cube is a select group of veterans of elite units in the Israeli intelligence community, combined with financial and legal experts. Our team comes from a well-established intelligence background in the fields of information gathering, analysis and research, as well as various legal and financial backgrounds and field operations. The team’s unique background, together with the cutting-edge methodology developed by Black Cube, was the reason we were retained to untangle complex business environments and legal cases for many multi-national clients. Black Cube regularly supplies services for a variety of international corporate and law firms.

4. Black Cube is willing to provide business intelligence services to the Client in accordance with the work plan suggested below, and hereby warrants that all information collected during the project and all other action taken or directed by Black Cube will be obtained in confidence and by legal means and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. In accordance, all operations are subject to the law in all relevant jurisdictions.

5. All of Black Cube’s operational methodologies have been approved by K&L Gates, BCL Burton Copeland and Gross, Kleinhandler, Hodak and Co. (top-tier law firms in the US, UK and Israel respectively).

6. Furthermore, Black Cube seeks advice and guidance from top tier law firms in any other jurisdiction in which we operate, in order to ensure full compliance to local laws and regulations, specifically with regard to privacy and data protection.

Objectives

7. The primary objectives of the project are:

a) Provide intelligence which will help the Client’s efforts to completely stop the publication of a new negative article in a leading NY newspaper (hereinafter “the Article”);

b) Obtain additional content of a book which current being written and includes harmful negative information on and about the Client (hereinafter “the Book”).


8. Of course, any other specific request or requirement from the Client will be taken into consideration.

The Research Team

9. For the Duration of the project, Black Cube will allocate a dedicated team of expert intelligence officers that will operate in the USA and any other necessary country:

a) A project manager with specific experience in managing similar business intelligence projects. The project manager will be in charge of building the research plan, managing the team, allocating resources, scheduling, and presenting results to the Client.

b) Intelligence analysts – experts in web-based data gathering and database access, social networks and pattern analysis.

c) A full-time agent by the name of “Anna” (hereinafter “the Agent”), who will be based in New York and Los Angeles as per the Client’s instructions and who will be available full time to assist the Client and his attorneys for the next four months, commencing on the date of this Letter of Engagement. Said Agent can utilize the services of “Roe” of Black Cube as the coordinator.

d) An investigative journalist as per the Client request (hereinafter “the Journalist”).

e) Avatar Operators – experts in relevant media analysis and relations, in all available social networks.

f) Linguists – for all relevant languages including English.

g) Operations experts with extensive experience in social engineering.

h) In house legal advisor – for advice on the legality of collection methods and operations; focusing on privacy, data protection and database access.

10. The team is supported by our board of directors and advisors – businessmen in key positions in Israel and abroad and former heads of the Israeli intelligence forces, all of whom contribute from their vast experience and worldwide connections.

Schedule and Fees

11. The final report will be provided within four (4) months from 10 July 2017, i.e. by November 10, 2017. However, due to the urgency of the project, Black Cube will utilize its blitz methodology in order to allocate additional resources in the beginning of the project.

12. Regular updates, delivered in face to face meetings with the firm and client along with written status reports, will be given to the Firm and Client to present findings and discuss further directions.

13. Relevant information will be provided to the Firm and Client as it becomes available.

14. The price for this project will be USD$200,000, to be paid in four equal tranches of $50,000, inclusive of all costs (i.e. databases and software licenses, flights, travel, computers and special accessories, and out of pocket expenses) (hereinafter “the Retainer”). The Client will not bear any additional expenses unless agreed upon in advance. The Client has caused to be paid, on July 10, 2017, $50,000 of the $190,000 Settlement Sum (as such term is defined in the Settlement Agreement, dated as of the date hereof, between Black Cube and the Firm, acting on behalf of the Client). $100,000 of the Settlement Sum shall be paid to Black Cube upon the signing of this Engagement Letter and the remaining $40,000 of the Settlement Sum shall be paid to Black Cube within 10 days of the signing of this Engagement Letter. The first tranch of the Retainer ($50,000) shall be paid by August 10, 2017. The remaining three tranches of the Retainer (each of $50,000) shall be paid on September 10, 2017, October 10, 2017 and November 10, 2017.

15. On, or within 10 days of, the date hereof, the Client shall pay Black Cube a refundable, lump sum amount of $40,000 for the services of the Journalist. The Journalist’s assignment is to conduct 10 interviews per month over a four month period, commencing on the date hereof, of interested persons. Black Cube shall promptly report to the Client the results of such interviews by the Journalist. If such interviews are not so conducted, then such $40,000 shall be repaid by Black Cube to the Client immediately after the expiration of such for month period; provided that, such refund shall not need to be made if Black Cube is fully successful in achieving all of its other objectives, tasks and mandates pursuant to this LoE.

16. In the event in which Black Cube provides intelligence which will directly contribute to the efforts to completely stop the Article from being published at all in any shape or form, Black Cube will be paid a success fee of USD$300,000.

17. Furthermore, in the event in which Black Cube succeeds in achieving the other half of the Book’s content (approximately 250 pages in total) in readable book and legally admissible format (and not just based on interviews or recordings but the actual Book), Black Cube will be paid, an additional success fee of USD$50,000.

18. If none of the objectives set forth above are achieved by Black Cube within four months of the date hereof, then Black Cube will provide its services to achieve those objectives for another month at no charge or fee.

19. Black Cube also hereby covenants and agrees with the Firm that it shall deliver (in the most professional and discreet manner) to the Firm, on behalf of the Client, all transcripts, recordings, tapes and other materials prepared, collected or made by or on behalf or of Black Cube for the benefit of the Client pursuant to this Letter of Engagement immediately as they become available (and in no event later than 3 business days after they become available) in readable and legally admissible format, whether or not there is any dispute then pending between the Client and Black Cube or otherwise.

20. The payment of the success fees will be independent from, and in addition to, any other fee paid according to this agreement.

21. This Letter of Engagement supersedes all prior agreements, written or otherwise, between the parties (including, in particular, the Letter of Engagement, dated October 24, 2014, between Black Cube and the Firm, acting on behalf of the Client (hereinafter “the Original LoE”) and the Client, whether written, oral or otherwise) and Black Cube acknowledges and agrees that it is not and will not be entitled to any fees (whether success fees or otherwise, whether pursuant paragraphs 16 through 18 of the Original LoE or otherwise) or costs under the Original LoE.

22. We agree that Black Cube will solely look to the Client and not the Firm for payment of any amounts due under this engagement and shall hold the firm harmless from any costs arising out of this engagement.

We are looking forward to working with you on this opportunity. I firmly believe that Black Cube’s high-level intelligence capabilities will enable us to deliver to you the desired results of this case.

With kind regards,

Dr. Avi Yanus, Director

Encl.

I agree to the terms of this letter and the BC Strategy UK Ltd. Terms and Conditions on behalf of the
Client: Boies Schiller & Flexner, LLP
Name: David Boies
Signed: David Boies
Date: July 11, 2017


BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL
BLACK CUBE

Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP
575 Lexington Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10022
USA
24 October 2016

Letter of Engagement

1. This Letter of Engagement sets out the terms whereby Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP ( “the Firm”) is engaging B.C. Strategy UK Ltd., a limited company incorporated in England and Wales (registered number: 0815397, hereinafter “Black Cube”), on behalf of a client, (hereafter “the Client”). This letter explains the research process and scope of the litigation support services to be provided to the Client, and attached to it you will find our Terms and Conditions, which shall be considered as a part of this letter.

General

2. B.C. Strategy UK Ltd is a business intelligence and strategic consultancy firm based in London, Tel-Aviv and Paris. The company, owner of the Black Cube brand in Israel, USA, UK, European Union, Hong Kong, Australia and other countries, specializes in finding tailored solutions to business challenges by gathering high quality intelligence and providing its clients strategic consultancy and guidance. The firm specializes in delivering end-to-end research into corporations, individuals and product markets.

3. Black Cube is a select group of veterans of elite units in the Israeli intelligence community, combined with financial and legal experts. Our team comes from a well-established intelligence background in the fields of information gathering, analysis and research, as well as various legal and financial backgrounds and field operations. The team’s unique background, together with the cutting-edge methodology developed by Black Cube, was the reason we were retained to untangle complex business environments and legal cases for many multi-national clients. Black Cube regularly supplies services for a variety of international corporate and law firms.

4. Black Cube is willing to provide business intelligence services to the Client in accordance with the work plan suggested below, and hereby warrants that all information collected during the project and all other action taken or directed by Black Cube will be obtained in confidence and by legal means and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. In accordance, all operations are subject to the law in all relevant jurisdictions.

5. All of Black Cube’s operational methodologies have been approved by K&L Gates, BCL Burton Copeland and Gross, Kleinhandler, Hodak and Co. (top-tier law firms in the US, UK and Israel respectively).

6. Furthermore, Black Cube seeks advice and guidance from top tier law firms in any other jurisdiction in which we operate, in order to ensure full compliance to local laws and regulations, specifically with regard to privacy and data protection.

Objectives

7. The primary objective of the project is to identify the entities behind the negative campaign against the Client (hereinafter – “the Campaign”), and support the Client’s efforts to put a stop to it.

8. Of course, any other specific request or requirement from the Client will be taken into consideration.

The Research Team

9. For the Duration of the project, Black Cube will allocate a dedicated team of expert intelligence officers that will operate in the USA and any other necessary country:

a) A project manager with specific experience in managing similar business intelligence projects. The project manager will be in charge of building the research plan, managing the team, allocating resources, scheduling, and presenting results to the Client.

b) Intelligence analysts – experts in web-based data gathering and database access, social networks and pattern analysis.

c) Avatar Operators – experts in relevant media analysis and relations, in all available social networks.

d) Linguists – for all relevant languages including English.

e) Operations experts with extensive experience in social engineering.

f) In house legal advisor – for advice on the legality of collection methods and operations; focusing on privacy, data protection and database access.

10. The team is supported by our board of directors and advisors – businessmen in key positions in Israel and abroad and former heads of the Israeli intelligence forces, all of whom contribute from their vast experience and worldwide connections.

Schedule and Fees

11. The final report will be provided within two months from signature of letter of engagement. However, due to the urgency of the project, Black Cube will utilize its Blitz methodology in order to allocate additional resources in the beginning of the project.

12. Regular updates, delivered in face to face meetings with the firm and client along with written status reports, will be given to the Firm and Client to present findings and discuss further directions.

13. Relevant information will be provided to the Firm and Client as it becomes available.

14. The price for this project per months will be 100,000 USD ($200,000 USD in total), inclusive of all costs (i.e. databases and software licenses, flights, travel, computers and special accessories, and out of pocket expenses). The Client will not bear any additional expenses unless agreed upon in advance. The Client has the option to terminate the engagement after the first month if it is not satisfied with the results produced thus far with no obligation to pay the second month’s fee.

15. The first monthly payment be due upon the signing of the letter of engagement, and the second monthly payment will be due 30 days after the signing of the letter of engagement.

16. In the event in which the Client uses the intelligence provided by Black Cube, in a litigation, in a different juridical process, in the media or in presentation to authorities, Black Cube will be paid a success fee of 100,000 USD.

17. Additionally, in the event Black Cube succeeds in achieving the objective, including putting a stop to the negative campaign, Black Cube will be paid an additional success fee of 200,000 USD.

18. Furthermore, in the event in which Black Cube discovers that there was a concerted effort on the part of an individual or entity behind the negative campaign (e.g. a business competitor) that was not otherwise known to the Client and which resulted from activities beyond the normal scope of the objective and work contemplated in this engagement, Black Cube will be paid an additional success fee of 300,000 USD.

19. The payment of the success fee will be independent from, and in addition to, any other fee paid according to this agreement.

20. VAT will be added, only if necessary, according to English law.

21. We agree that Black Cube will solely look to the Client and not the Firm for payment of any amounts due under this engagement and shall hold the firm harmless from any costs arising out of this engagement.

We are looking forward to working with you on this opportunity. I firmly believe that Black Cube’s high-level intelligence capabilities will enable us to deliver to you the desired results of this case.

With kind regards,

Dr. Avi Yanus, Director

Encl.

I agree to the terms of this letter and the BC Strategy UK Ltd. Terms and Conditions on behalf of the
Client:
Name: Amy Habie
Signed: Amy Habie
Date: 10/27/16


Boies confirmed that his firm contracted with and paid two of the agencies and that investigators from one of them sent him reports, which were then passed on to Weinstein. He said that he did not select the firms or direct the investigators’ work. He also denied that the work regarding the Times story represented a conflict of interest. Boies said that his firm’s involvement with the investigators was a mistake. “We should not have been contracting with and paying investigators that we did not select and direct,” he told me. “At the time, it seemed a reasonable accommodation for a client, but it was not thought through, and that was my mistake. It was a mistake at the time.”

Techniques like the ones used by the agencies on Weinstein’s behalf are almost always kept secret, and, because such relationships are often run through law firms, the investigations are theoretically protected by attorney-client privilege, which could prevent them from being disclosed in court. The documents and sources reveal the tools and tactics available to powerful individuals to suppress negative stories and, in some cases, forestall criminal investigations.

In a statement, Weinstein’s spokesperson, Sallie Hofmeister, said, “It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.”

In May, 2017, McGowan received an e-mail from a literary agency introducing her to a woman who identified herself as Diana Filip, the deputy head of sustainable and responsible investments at Reuben Capital Partners, a London-based wealth-management firm. Filip told McGowan that she was launching an initiative to combat discrimination against women in the workplace, and asked McGowan, a vocal women’s-rights advocate, to speak at a gala kickoff event later that year. Filip offered McGowan a fee of sixty thousand dollars. “I understand that we have a lot in common,” Filip wrote to McGowan before their first meeting, in May, at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. Filip had a U.K. cell-phone number, and she spoke with what McGowan took to be a German accent. Over the following months, the two women met at least three more times at hotel bars in Los Angeles and New York and other locations. “I took her to the Venice boardwalk and we had ice cream while we strolled,” McGowan told me, adding that Filip was “very kind.” The two talked at length about issues relating to women’s empowerment. Filip also repeatedly told McGowan that she wanted to make a significant investment in McGowan’s production company.

Filip was persistent. In one e-mail, she suggested meeting in Los Angeles and then, when McGowan said she would be in New York, Filip said she could meet there just as easily. She also began pressing McGowan for information. In a conversation in July, McGowan revealed to Filip that she had spoken to me as part of my reporting on Weinstein. A week later, I received an e-mail from Filip asking for a meeting and suggesting that I join her campaign to end professional discrimination against women. “I am very impressed with your work as a male advocate for gender equality, and believe that you would make an invaluable addition to our activities,” she wrote, using her wealth-management firm’s e-mail address. Unsure of who she was, I did not respond.

Filip continued to meet with McGowan. In one meeting in September, Filip was joined by another Black Cube operative, who used the name Paul and claimed to be a colleague at Reuben Capital Partners. The goal, according to two sources with knowledge of the effort, was to pass McGowan to another operative to extract more information. On October 10th, the day The New Yorker published my story about Weinstein, Filip reached out to McGowan in an e-mail. “Hi Love,” she wrote. “How are you feeling? . . . Just wanted to tell you how brave I think you are.” She signed off with an “xx.” Filip e-mailed McGowan as recently as October 23rd.

In fact, “Diana Filip” was an alias for a former officer in the Israeli Defense Forces who originally hailed from Eastern Europe and was working for Black Cube
, according to three individuals with knowledge of the situation. When I sent McGowan photos of the Black Cube agent, she recognized her instantly. “Oh my God,” she wrote back. “Reuben Capital. Diana Filip. No fucking way.”

Ben Wallace, a reporter at New York who was pursuing a story on Weinstein, said that the same woman met with him twice last fall. She identified herself only as Anna and suggested that she had an allegation against Weinstein. When I presented Wallace with the same photographs of Black Cube’s undercover operative, Wallace recalled her vividly. “That’s her,” he said. Like McGowan, Wallace said that the woman had what he assumed to be a German accent, as well as a U.K. cell-phone number. Wallace told me that Anna first contacted him on October 28, 2016, when he had been working on the Weinstein story for about a month and a half. Anna declined to disclose who had given her Wallace’s information. Over the course of the two meetings, Wallace grew increasingly suspicious of her motives. Anna seemed to be pushing him for information, he recalled, “about the status and scope of my inquiry, and about who I might be talking to, without giving me any meaningful help or information.” During their second meeting, Anna requested that they sit close together, leading Wallace to suspect that she might be recording the exchange. When she recounted her experiences with Weinstein, Wallace said, “it seemed like soap-opera acting.” Wallace wasn’t the only journalist the woman contacted. In addition to her e-mails to me, Filip also e-mailed Jodi Kantor, of the Times, according to sources involved in the effort.

The U.K. cell-phone numbers that Filip provided to Wallace and McGowan have been disconnected. Calls to Reuben Capital Partners’ number in London went unanswered. As recently as Friday, the firm had a bare-bones Web site, with stock photos and generic text passages about asset management and an initiative called Women in Focus. The site, which has now been taken down, listed an address near Piccadilly Circus, operated by a company specializing in shared office space. That company said that it had never heard of Reuben Capital Partners. Two sources with knowledge of Weinstein’s work with Black Cube said that the firm creates fictional companies to provide cover for its operatives, and that Filip’s firm was one of them.

Black Cube declined to comment on the specifics of any work it did for Weinstein. The agency said in a statement, “It is Black Cube’s policy to never discuss its clients with any third party, and to never confirm or deny any speculation made with regard to the company’s work. Black Cube supports the work of many leading law firms around the world, especially in the US, gathering evidence for complex legal processes, involving commercial disputes, among them uncovering negative campaigns. . . . It should be highlighted that Black Cube applies high moral standards to its work, and operates in full compliance with the law of any jurisdiction in which it operates—strictly following the guidance and legal opinions provided by leading law firms from around the world.” The contract with the firm also specified that all of its work would be obtained “by legal means and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

Last fall, Weinstein began mentioning Black Cube by name in conversations with his associates and attorneys. The agency had made a name for itself digging up information for companies in Israel, Europe, and the U.S. that led to successful legal judgments against business rivals. But the firm has also faced legal questions about its employees’ use of fake identities and other tactics. Last year, two of its investigators were arrested in Romania on hacking charges. In the end, the company reached an agreement with the Romanian authorities, under which the operatives admitted to hacking and were released. Two sources familiar with the agency defended its decision to work for Weinstein, saying that they originally believed that the assignment focussed on his business rivals. But even the earliest lists of names that Weinstein provided to Black Cube included actresses and journalists.

On October 28, 2016, Boies’s law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, wired to Black Cube the first hundred thousand dollars, toward what would ultimately be a six-hundred-thousand-dollar invoice. (The documents do not make clear how much of the invoice was paid.) The law firm and Black Cube signed a contract that month and several others later. One, dated July 11, 2017, and bearing Boies’s signature, states that the project’s “primary objectives” are to “provide intelligence which will help the Client’s efforts to completely stop the publication of a new negative article in a leading NY newspaper” and to “obtain additional content of a book which currently being written and includes harmful negative information on and about the Client,” who is identified as Weinstein in multiple documents. (In one e-mail, a Black Cube executive asks lawyers retained by the agency to refer to Weinstein as “the end client” or “Mr. X,” noting that referring to him by name “will make him extremely angry.”) The article mentioned in the contract was, according to three sources, the story that ultimately ran in the Times on October 5th. The book was “Brave,” a memoir by McGowan, scheduled for publication by HarperCollins in January. The documents show that, in the end, the agency delivered to Weinstein more than a hundred pages of transcripts and descriptions of the book, based on tens of hours of recorded conversations between McGowan and the female private investigator.

Weinstein’s spokesperson, Hofmeister, called “the assertion that Mr. Weinstein secured any portion of a book . . . false and among the many inaccuracies and wild conspiracy theories promoted in this article.”

The July agreement included several “success fees” if Black Cube met its goals. The firm would receive an additional three hundred thousand dollars if the agency “provides intelligence which will directly contribute to the efforts to completely stop the Article from being published at all in any shape or form.” Black Cube would also be paid fifty thousand dollars if it secured “the other half” of McGowan’s book “in readable book and legally admissible format.”

The contracts also show some of the techniques that Black Cube employs. The agency promised “a dedicated team of expert intelligence officers that will operate in the USA and any other necessary country,” including a project manager, intelligence analysts, linguists, and “Avatar Operators” specifically hired to create fake identities on social media, as well as “operations experts with extensive experience in social engineering.”

Social engineering attacks are not only becoming more common against enterprises and SMBs, but they're also increasingly sophisticated. With hackers devising ever-more clever methods for fooling employees and individuals into handing over valuable company data, enterprises must use due diligence in an effort to stay two steps ahead of cyber criminals.

Social engineering attacks typically involve some form of psychological manipulation, fooling otherwise unsuspecting users or employees into handing over confidential or sensitive data. Commonly, social engineering involves email or other communication that invokes urgency, fear, or similar emotions in the victim, leading the victim to promptly reveal sensitive information, click a malicious link, or open a malicious file. Because social engineering involves a human element, preventing these attacks can be tricky for enterprises.

-- Social Engineering Attacks: Common Techniques & How to Prevent an Attack, by Nate Lord


The agency also said that it would provide “a full time agent by the name of ‘Anna’ (hereinafter ‘the Agent’), who will be based in New York and Los Angeles as per the Client’s instructions and who will be available full time to assist the Client and his attorneys for the next four months.” Four sources with knowledge of Weinstein’s work with Black Cube confirmed that this was the same woman who met with McGowan and Wallace.

Black Cube also agreed to hire “an investigative journalist, as per the Client request,” who would be required to conduct ten interviews a month for four months and be paid forty thousand dollars. Black Cube agreed to “promptly report to the Client the results of such interviews by the Journalist.”

In January, 2017, a freelance journalist called McGowan and had a lengthy conversation with her that he recorded without telling her; he subsequently communicated with Black Cube about the interviews, though he denied he was reporting back to them in a formal capacity. He contacted at least two other women with allegations against Weinstein, including the actress Annabella Sciorra, who later went public in The New Yorker with a rape allegation against Weinstein. Sciorra, whom he called in August, said that she found the conversation suspicious and got off the phone as quickly as possible. “It struck me as B.S.,” she told me. “And it scared me that Harvey was testing to see if I would talk.” The freelancer also placed calls to Wallace, the New York reporter, and to me.

Two sources close to the effort and several documents show that the same freelancer received contact information for actresses, journalists, and business rivals of Weinstein from Black Cube, and that the agency ultimately passed summaries of those interviews to Weinstein’s lawyers. When contacted about his role, the freelancer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that he had been working on his own story about Weinstein, using contact information fed to him by Black Cube. The freelancer said that he reached out to other reporters, one of whom used material from his interviews, in the hopes of helping to expose Weinstein. He denied that he was paid by Black Cube or Weinstein.

Weinstein also enlisted other journalists to uncover information that he could use to undermine women with allegations. A December, 2016, e-mail exchange between Weinstein and Dylan Howard, the chief content officer of American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer, shows that Howard shared with Weinstein material obtained by one of his reporters, as part of an effort to help Weinstein disprove McGowan’s allegation of rape. In one e-mail, Howard sent Weinstein a list of contacts. “Let’s discuss next steps on each,” he wrote. After Weinstein thanked him, Howard described a call that one of his reporters made to Elizabeth Avellan, the ex-wife of the director Robert Rodriguez, whom Rodriguez left to have a relationship with McGowan.

Avellan told me that she remembered the interview. Howard’s reporter “kept calling and calling and calling,” she said, and also contacted others close to her. Avellan finally called back, because “I was afraid people might start calling my kids.” In a long phone call, the reporter pressed her for unflattering statements about McGowan. She insisted that the call be off the record, and the reporter agreed. The reporter recorded the call, and subsequently passed the audio to Howard.

In subsequent e-mails to Weinstein, Howard said, “I have something AMAZING . . . eventually she laid into Rose pretty hard.” Weinstein replied, “This is the killer. Especially if my fingerprints r not on this.” Howard then reassured Weinstein, “They are not. And the conversation . . . is RECORDED.” The next day, Howard added, in another e-mail, “Audio file to follow.” (Howard denied sending the audio to Weinstein.) Avellan told me that she would not have agreed to coöperate in efforts to discredit McGowan. “I don’t want to shame people,” she said. “I wasn’t interested. Women should stand together.”

In a statement, Howard said that, in addition to his role as the chief content officer at American Media Inc., the National Enquirer’s publisher, he oversaw a television-production agreement with Weinstein, which has since been terminated. He said that, at the time of the e-mails, “absent a corporate decision to terminate the agreement with The Weinstein Company, I had an obligation to protect AMI’s interests by seeking out—but not publishing—truthful information about people who Mr. Weinstein insisted were making false claims against him. To the extent I provided ‘off the record’ information to Mr. Weinstein about one of his accusers—at a time when Mr. Weinstein was denying any harassment of any woman—it was information which I would never have allowed AMI to publish on the internet or in its magazines.” Although at least one of Howard’s reporters made calls related to Weinstein’s investigations, Howard insisted that he strictly divided his work with Weinstein from his work as a journalist. “I always separated those two roles carefully and completely—and resisted Mr. Weinstein’s repeated efforts to have AMI titles publish favorable stories about him or negative articles about his accusers,” Howard said. An A.M.I. representative noted that, at the time, Weinstein insisted that the encounter was consensual, and that the allegations were untrue.

Hofmeister, Weinstein’s spokesperson, added, “In regard to Mr. Howard, he has served as the point person for American Media’s long-standing business relationship with The Weinstein Company. Earlier this year, Mr. Weinstein gave Mr. Howard a news tip that Mr. Howard agreed might make a good story. Mr. Howard pursued the tip and followed up with Mr. Weinstein as a courtesy, but declined to publish any story.”

Weinstein’s relationship with Kroll, one of the other agencies he contracted with, dates back years. After Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, an Italian model, accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her, in 2015, she reached a settlement with Weinstein that required her to surrender all her personal devices to Kroll, so that they could be wiped of evidence of a conversation in which Weinstein admitted to groping her. A recording of that exchange, captured during a police sting operation, was released by The New Yorker last month.

During the more recent effort to shut down emerging stories, Kroll again played a central role. E-mails show that Dan Karson, the chairman of Kroll Americas’ Investigations and Disputes practice, contacted Weinstein at his personal e-mail address with information about women with allegations. In one October, 2016, e-mail, Karson sent Weinstein eleven photographs of McGowan and Weinstein together at different events in the years after he allegedly assaulted her. Three hours later, Weinstein forwarded Karson’s e-mail to Boies and Weinstein’s criminal-defense attorney, Blair Berk, and told them to “scroll thru the extra ones.” The next morning, Berk replied that one photo, which showed McGowan warmly talking with Weinstein, “is the money shot.”

Berk defended her actions. “Any criminal-defense lawyer worth her salt would investigate unproven allegations to determine if they are credible,” she said. “And it would be dereliction of duty not to conduct a public-records search for photographs of the accuser embracing the accused taken after the time of the alleged assault.”

Another firm, the Los Angeles-based psops, and its lead private investigator, Jack Palladino, as well as another one of its investigators, Sara Ness, produced detailed profiles of various individuals in the saga, sometimes of a personal nature, which included information that could be used to undermine their credibility. One report on McGowan that Ness sent to Weinstein last December ran for more than a hundred pages and featured McGowan’s address and other personal information, along with sections labelled “Lies/Exaggerations/Contradictions,” “Hypocrisy,” and “Potential Negative Character Wits,” an apparent abbreviation of “witnesses.” One subhead read “Past Lovers.” The section included details of acrimonious breakups, mentioning Avellan, and discussed Facebook posts expressing negative sentiments about McGowan. (Palladino and Ness did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

Other firms were also involved in assembling such profiles, including ones that focussed on factors that, in theory, might make women likely to speak out against sexual abuse. One of the other firm’s profiles was of Rosanna Arquette, an actress who later, in The New Yorker, accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. The file mentions Arquette’s friendship with McGowan, social-media posts about sexual abuse, and the fact that a family member had gone public with an allegation that she had been molested as a child.

All of the security firms that Weinstein hired were also involved in trying to ferret out reporters’ sources and probe their backgrounds. Wallace, the reporter for New York, said that he was suspicious when he received the call from the Black Cube operative using the pseudonym Anna, because Weinstein had already requested a meeting with Wallace; Adam Moss, the editor-in-chief of New York; David Boies; and a representative from Kroll. The intention, Wallace assumed, was to “come in with dossiers slagging various women and me.” Moss declined the meeting.


In a series of e-mails sent in the weeks before Wallace received the call from Anna, Dan Karson, of Kroll, sent Weinstein preliminary background information on Wallace and Moss. “No adverse information about Adam Moss so far (no libel/defamation cases, no court records or judgments/liens/UCC, etc.),” Karson wrote in one e-mail. Two months later, Palladino, the psops investigator, sent Weinstein a detailed profile of Moss. It stated, “Our research did not yield any promising avenues for the personal impeachment of Moss.”

Similar e-mail exchanges occurred regarding Wallace. Kroll sent Weinstein a list of public criticisms of Wallace’s previous reporting and a detailed description of a U.K. libel suit filed in response to a book he wrote, in 2008, about the rare-wine market. psops also profiled Wallace’s ex-wife, noting that she “might prove relevant to considerations of our response strategy when Wallace’s article on our client is finally published.”

In January, 2017, Wallace, Moss, and other editors at New York decided to shelve the story.
Wallace had assembled a detailed list of women with allegations, but he lacked on-the-record statements from any victims. Wallace said that the decision not to run a story was made for legitimate journalistic reasons. Nevertheless, he said, “There was much more static and distraction than I’ve encountered on any other story.”

Other reporters were investigated as well. In April, 2017, Ness, of psops, sent Weinstein an assessment of my own interactions with “persons of interest”—a list largely consisting of women with allegations, or those connected to them. Later, psops submitted a detailed report focussing jointly on me and Jodi Kantor, of the Times. Some of the observations in the report are mundane. “Kantor is NOT following Ronan Farrow,” it notes, referring to relationships on Twitter. At other times, the report reflects a detailed effort to uncover sources. One individual I interviewed, and another whom Kantor spoke to in her separate endeavor, were listed as having reported the details of the conversations back to Weinstein.

For years, Weinstein had used private security agencies to investigate reporters. In the early aughts, as the journalist David Carr, who died in 2015, worked on a report on Weinstein for New York, Weinstein assigned Kroll to dig up unflattering information about him, according to a source close to the matter. Carr’s widow, Jill Rooney Carr, told me that her husband believed that he was being surveilled, though he didn’t know by whom. “He thought he was being followed,” she recalled. In one document, Weinstein’s investigators wrote that Carr had learned of McGowan’s allegation in the course of his reporting. Carr “wrote a number of critical/unflattering articles about HW over the years,” the document says, “none of which touched on the topic of women (due to fear of HW’s retaliation, according to HW).”


Weinstein’s relationships with the private investigators were often routed through law firms that represented him. This is designed to place investigative materials under the aegis of attorney-client privilege, which can prevent the disclosure of communications, even in court.

David Boies, who was involved in the relationships with Black Cube and psops, was initially reluctant to speak with The New Yorker, out of concern that he might be “misinterpreted either as trying to deny or minimize mistakes that were made, or as agreeing with criticisms that I don’t agree are valid.”

But Boies did feel the need to respond to what he considered “fair and important” questions about his hiring of investigators. He said that he did not consider the contractual provisions directing Black Cube to stop the publication of the Times story to be a conflict of interest, because his firm was also representing the newspaper in a libel suit. From the beginning, he said, he advised Weinstein “that the story could not be stopped by threats or influence and that the only way the story could be stopped was by convincing the Times that there was no rape.” Boies told me he never pressured any news outlet. “If evidence could be uncovered to convince the Times the charges should not be published, I did not believe, and do not believe, that that would be averse to the Times’ interest.”

The New York Times did not hire Boies to secretly advance their editorial agenda. Determining whether there is a conflict of interest that requires the lawyer to relinquish either or both clients is not based upon whether, in the mind of the lawyer, the work he does for one client will be injurious to the interests of the other client. Rather, the question is whether the lawyer can fairly advise two clients with conflicting interests, one with the goal of publishing the truth to the public, the other with the goal of concealing the truth from that same public. And how many times has he done this to the Times?

-- Charles Carreon, Attorney at Law


He conceded, however, that any efforts to profile and undermine reporters, at the Times and elsewhere, were problematic. “In general, I don’t think it’s appropriate to try to pressure reporters,” he said. “If that did happen here, it would not have been appropriate.”

Although the agencies paid by his firm focussed on many women with allegations, Boies said that he had only been aware of their work related to McGowan, whose allegations Weinstein denied. “Given what was known at the time, I thought it was entirely appropriate to investigate precisely what he was accused of doing, and to investigate whether there were facts that would rebut those accusations,” he said.

Of his representation of Weinstein in general, he said, “I don’t believe former lawyers should criticize former clients.” But he expressed regrets. “Although he vigorously denies using physical force, Mr. Weinstein has himself recognized that his contact with women was indefensible and incredibly hurtful,” Boies told me. “In retrospect, I knew enough in 2015 that I believe I should have been on notice of a problem, and done something about it. I don’t know what, if anything, happened after 2015, but to the extent it did, I think I have some responsibility. I also think that if people had taken action earlier it would have been better for Mr. Weinstein.”

Weinstein also drafted individuals around him into his efforts—willingly and not. In December, 2016, Weinstein asked the actress Asia Argento, who ultimately went public in The New Yorker with her allegation of rape against Weinstein, to meet in Italy with his private investigators to give testimony on his behalf. Argento, who felt pressure to say yes, declined after her partner, the chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain, advised her to avoid the meeting. Another actress, who declined to be named in this story, said that Weinstein asked her to meet with reporters to extract information about other sources.

Weinstein also enlisted two former employees, Denise Doyle Chambers and Pamela Lubell, in what turned out to be an effort to identify and call people who might speak to the press about their own, or others’, allegations. Weinstein secretly shared the lists they compiled with Black Cube.

Hofmeister, speaking on Weinstein’s behalf, said, “Any ‘lists’ that were prepared included names of former employees and others who were relevant to the research and preparation of a book about Miramax. Former employees conducting interviews for the book reported receiving unwanted contacts from the media.”

Doyle Chambers declined an interview request. But Lubell, a producer who worked for Weinstein at Miramax decades ago, told me that she was manipulated into participating. In July, 2017, Lubell visited Weinstein’s offices to pitch him on an app that she was developing. In the middle of the meeting, Weinstein asked Lubell if they could have a private conversation in his office. Lubell told me that a lawyer working with Weinstein was already there, along with Doyle Chambers. Weinstein asked if Lubell and Doyle Chambers could write a “fun book on the old times, the heyday, of Miramax.” “Pam,” she recalled him saying, “write down all the employees that you know, and can you get in touch with them?”

A few weeks later, in August, after they had made the list, Weinstein “called us back into the office,” Lubell recalled. “And he said, ‘You know what, we’re going to put a hold on the book.’” He asked Doyle Chambers and Lubell to “call some of your friends from the list and see if they got calls from the press.” In early September, Weinstein summoned Lubell and Doyle Chambers to his office and asked them to start making calls to people connected to several actresses. “It got kind of intense,” Lubell recalled. “We didn’t know these people, and all of a sudden this was something very different from what we signed up for.” Several of the targeted women said that they felt the calls they received from Lubell and Doyle Chambers, and from Weinstein himself, were frightening.


Lubell told me that hours before the first Times story broke, on October 5th, Weinstein summoned her, Doyle Chambers, and others on his team, including the attorney Lisa Bloom, who has since resigned, to his office. “He was in a panic,” Lubell recalled. “He starts screaming, ‘Get so-and-so on the phone.’” After the story was published, the team scrambled to respond to it. Bloom and others pored over pictures that, like the ones featured in the Kroll e-mails, showed ongoing contact between Weinstein and women who made allegations. “He was screaming at us, ‘Send these to the board members,’” Lubell recalled. She e-mailed the photographs to the board ahead of the crisis meeting at which Weinstein’s position at his company began unravelling.

Since the allegations against Weinstein became public, Lubell hasn’t slept well. She told me that, although she knew that Weinstein “was a bully and a cheater,” she “never thought he was a predator.” Lubell has wondered if she should have known more, sooner.

After a year of concerted effort, Weinstein’s campaign to track and silence his accusers crumbled. Several of the women targeted, however, said that Weinstein’s use of private security agencies deepened the challenge of speaking out. “It scared me,” Sciorra said, “because I knew what it meant to be threatened by Harvey. I was in fear of him finding me.” McGowan said that the agencies and law firms enabled Weinstein’s behavior. As she was targeted, she felt a growing sense of paranoia. “It was like the movie ‘Gaslight,’” she told me. “Everyone lied to me all the time.” For the past year, she said, “I’ve lived inside a mirrored fun house.”

Ronan Farrow, a television and print reporter, is the author of the upcoming book “War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence.”
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