Harvey Weinstein's 'army of spies' included journalists, Ronan Farrow reports

In a bombshell followup to his original story detailing rape allegations against Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein, Ronan Farrow is now reporting that Weinstein had an “army of spies” extracting information from his accusers, as well as journalists working on the story.

According to the article published in early November, there were also journalists working with Weinstein who used their journalistic credibility to obtain intelligence from sources and feed it back to Weinstein.

“This story shows dark side of how media treats powerful men but also reminds us brave people are still defending the truth,” Farrow tweeted after the story came out.

Published in the New Yorker, the story reports that Weinstein, through his legal team, hired an ex-Mossad agent for the purposes of getting information from people such as actors Rose McGowan and Asia Argento, who both accuse Weinstein of sexual assault.

According to sources in Farrow’s story, a Black Cube operative posing as a women’s rights advocate met with McGowan on multiple occasions and secretly tape recorded their conversations in an attempt to find information that could be used to discredit McGowan.

The same operative contacted Farrow after McGowan revealed to her that she was talking to Farrow for a story. She also met up with other journalists working on stories about Weinstein, suggesting she had her own allegations against the now-disgraced producer.

According to details in the contract, Black Cube also agreed it would hire “an investigative journalist, as per the Client request.” Under the terms of the contract, Black Cube would “promptly report to the Client the results of such interviews by the Journalist.”

Dylan Howard, an executive at American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer, was also feeding information to Weinstein through interviews with an Enquirer reporter, according to the article.

Elizabeth Avellan, the ex-wife of a director who left her to pursue a relationship with McGowan, told Farrow that she was contacted multiple times by an Enquirer reporter who pressed her for unflattering details about McGowan. She agreed to speak with him off the record. The conversation was recorded and was subsequently passed on to Weinstein, Farrow writes.  

“I have something AMAZING . . . eventually she laid into Rose pretty hard,” Howard allegedly wrote to Weinstein in an email. Weinstein reportedly replied, “This is the killer. Especially if my fingerprints r not on this.”

Unifor Local 87-M’s women’s committee says dealing with all forms of workplace harassment needs to be a priority. 

“As women who represent workers, we were horrified and disgusted by the original allegations against Weinstein. No one should have to put up with sexual harassment at work, whether that workspace is an office, a warehouse or a hotel room. We are equally horrified and disgusted as workers in the media sector that journalistic credibility and trust would ever be abused for the purposes of discrediting and further silencing victims," the committee said in a statement. 

Local President Paul Morse said the local is currently training up a number of members as anti-harassment specialists to ensure the union is doing its part to help stamp out harassment at work.

“Employers are required by law to provide safe and harassment-free workplaces, and we are committed to making sure workers are not bullied, harassed, or subjected to sexual harassment,” Morse said. “We dedicate significant resources to educating our members on how to stop harassment in the workplace, and go even further by providing specialist anti-harassment advocates and investigators to help our members.”