Ronan Farrow’s Book Blocked from Online Sellers in Australia Over Legal Threat

 

Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill, which contains a number of sexual assault allegations against powerful media figures, has effectively been blacklisted in Australia after two of the biggest retailers in the country, Amazon Australia and Booktopia, refused to stock the title.

According to the New York Times, “Lawyers for Dylan Howard, an executive with American Media, Inc., sent letters to Australian booksellers last month warning of ‘false and defamatory allegations’ potentially contained within the book.”

“Howard, who is Australian and the former editor of The National Enquirer, features prominently in ‘Catch and Kill,'” the Times explained, adding, “The book outlines his assistance to [disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey] Weinstein, including an instance where he forwarded the producer ‘dirt’ on the actor Rose McGowan after she tweeted about ‘my rapist.'”

In the threatening legal letter, Howard’s lawyers warned book stores that they would “have no alternative” but to take legal action against them if they decided to distribute the book.

Farrow responded to the ban in a statement on Twitter, declaring, “Some Australian outlets—Booktopia, Amazon Aus—caved and banned it due to frivolous legal threats free speech group @PENamerica called a ‘reprehensible attempt at censorship’ from AMI’s Dylan Howard. Thanks to all complaining and defending the free press.”

“I’m sorry to all the Australian readers to whom this story is important too,” he continued. “I hope you can import or buy from an independent bookseller, and avoid outlets that yield to these kinds of intimidation tactics.”

In a statement, Booktopia stood by its position to blacklist the book, explaining that Catch and Kill would not be sold “unless there is clear direction that there will be no legal action.”

As previously reported at Mediaite, Farrow’s book contains a number of serious allegations against NBC News, from sexual assault allegations against former NBC News anchor Matt Lauer, to claims that the network intentionally shut down an investigation into disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

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