Ronan Farrow suggested Friday morning while promoting his forthcoming book, “Catch and Kill,” that NBC News discouraged him to pursue reporting on accusations against Harvey Weinstein because of its own internal sexual harassment incidents.
The company ordered a “hard stop to reporting,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.” He continued, “They told me and a producer working on this that we should lot take a single call. They told us to cancel interviews. The question for years has been, ‘Why?’ because every journalist at that institution didn’t understand why. And I think the book answers that question. This was a company with a lot of secrets.”
He also spoke about Weinstein’s reaction to being reported on, saying the movie mogul “made it known to the network that he was aware of [Matt] Lauer’s behavior and capable of revealing it.”
“Harvey Weinstein hired former Mossad agents with a firm called Black Cube who in turn hired contractors who surveilled me, tracked me, built dossiers on both me and survivors of alleged assault by Harvey Weinstein to try to squash this story,” Farrow said, reiterating the details of excerpts published earlier this week.
Farrow told Stephanopoulos that he’d been advised by sources to buy a gun and had been forced to move out of his home.
“I say all this and report it in detail in the book not to be ‘woe is me,’ but to illustrate the threats to the free press in this country. We are at a moment when powerful people are able to subvert the media, law and the free press and that is a threat to our democracy,” he explained.
“Around the world, the stakes are even higher: journalists get killed for reporting stories,” he added. “It’s gotta stop and we have to protect this precious institution.”
In a statement sent to TheWrap last year, Weinstein attorney Ben Brafman said he had met with federal attorneys and assured them that Weinstein hired Black Cube solely to “to effectively defend himself through legal action from serious and patently false allegations.” Brafman also said that Black Cube was supervised by lawyers based in New York and Los Angeles whom Weinstein “believed would never have authorized illegal activity of any kind.”
Weinstein also denied pressuring NBC News over Farrow’s reporting by threatening to reveal allegations against Matt Lauer, which has also been reported by Farrow in book excerpts.
“Harvey says that there is absolutely nothing factual about that account and he never did anything of the sort,” a representative for Weinstein told TheWrap Thursday.