Harvey Weinstein hired private investigators, including a firm using ex-Mossad agents, to get information about his sexual misconduct accusers and the journalists attempting to break their stories, the New Yorker reported Monday.
Firms Black Cube, which counts former Israeli intelligence officers among its ranks, and corporate intelligence firm Kroll International were among those reportedly used by Weinstein. In the mogul’s name, agents from Black Cube assumed false identities and fraudulently represented companies to extract information from the likes of Rose McGowan, who said Weinstein raped her, the report said.
“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,” the story said.
Weinstein reportedly tracked the progress of the investigations personally, or through his famous and high-powered attorney David Boies.
Weinstein’s rep Sallie Hoffmeister told the New Yorker “it is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.” Boies also offered a lengthy context for hiring the investigators, but said the pressuring of reporters was wrong and “if that did happen here, it would not have been appropriate.”
Representatives for Hoffmeister declined to comment further to TheWrap. Representatives for Boies did not immediately respond to a request from TheWrap for comment.
The tactics documented in the story sound straight out of a film Weinstein would produce.
For starters, the report says a Black Cube operative named “Anna” posed as an investor from a London firm called Reuben Capital Partners. She contacted McGowan under the name Diana Filip, with an offer to pay her $60,000 for a speaking engagement in May 2017.
By praising McGowan’s open feminism and social media activism, the operative carried on a nearly 6 month relationship with the actress before two bombshell Weinstein stories published in October — leading to more than 70 women accusing him of rape, assault and other sexual misconduct.
Filip then extracted information that Farrow was working on one of the exposes, and attempted to contact him under the guise of praise for his work as a male ally. The operative also caught wind of investigations being executed by New York magazine and the New York Times, the story said. She attempted to contact both reporters in service of Weinstein.
All out, Black Cube did $600,000 of billable work for Weinstein, the New Yorker said. The agency also managed to secure about 100 pages of McGowan’s HarperCollins memoir “Brave,” and received a $50,000 fee for the effort.
“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,” Hoffmeister said on behalf of Weinstein.