In Brief

Harvey Weinstein: new book claims brutal tactics to bury scandal

Author says movie mogul uses ‘rage, threats, promises and vulnerability’ to silence accusers

A new book by the reporter who first exposed Harvey Weinstein says the Hollywood tycoon took extreme measures to try and bury the claims against him.

In Catch and Kill, Ronan Farrow alleges that Weinstein used “a combination of rage, threats, professional promises and vulnerability” to silence alleged victims and put Farrow himself off the track, according to The Guardian.

In one passage, Farrow - whose explosive October 2017 report in the New Yorker told the stories of 13 women who said they had been sexually assaulted by Weinstein - cites a longtime former employee of the movie mogul, Alexandra Canosa.

“He creates the situation in which your silence will benefit you more than speaking out will,” Canosa says of Weinstein.

She claims that after she twice declined his advances, Weinstein proceeded to masturbate while she was in the next room.

Canosa recounts that her former boss began crying when it was revealed that his film company Miramax was being sold by Disney, and told her: “Don’t fucking refuse me when I’m crying.” She told Farrow that Weinstein had gone on to rape her.

Farrow says that Weinstein and his legal team also went to work against him. He says they deployed private eyes to trail him and also tried to leverage his position as the son of actor Mia Farrow and director Woody Allen against him.

People reports that Weinstein called Allen for help on how to “deal with this” when he learned of Farrow’s reporting. Allen reportedly replied: “Jeez, I’m so sorry. Good luck.”

“You start to realise that if you are wealthy enough and connected enough, you can hire secret agents with false identities, and honeypots to go after and try to seduce people, and engage in cyberhacking to try to track someone’s location,” Farrow said.

“This is a whole underbelly of what the wealthy and powerful do if they are in a corner.”

Farrow’s book has been withdrawn from sale in Australia after a legal threat from an Australian journalist whom Farrow says helped to protect Weinstein from negative media coverage.

Weinstein is currently on bail awaiting trial for predatory sexual assault, criminal sexual act in the first degree, first-degree rape and third-degree rape.

The Hollywood mogul has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and denies allegations of non-consensual sex raised against him by more than 80 women.

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