Ronan Farrow: Harvey Weinstein Boasted About Killing NBC News Sexual Abuse Story
In a new book, Catch and Kill, Ronan Farrow provides explosive new revelations that Harvey Weinstein used his sphere of media influence to cover-up his sexual misconduct and bragged about his killing an NBC News story about it.
In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Farrow shared a portion of Catch and Kill that goes in-depth about how Weinstein learned that the former NBC correspondent was digging into his decades of sexual abuse stories. The book states that Weinstein and Dylan Howard – Chief Content Officer of National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc – searched for a way to coerce NBC into killing Farrow’s reporting, eventually landing on a strategy focused on disgraced Today show anchor, Matt Lauer.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
“Weinstein made it known to the network that he was aware of Lauer’s behavior and capable of revealing it,” Farrow writes in his long-awaited new book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators (Little, Brown and Company, Oct. 15). Citing anonymous sources at NBC and AMI, Farrow, 31, claims that Weinstein was using the Enquirer’s accumulated dirt on the Today show star’s alleged workplace misconduct to pressure NBC executives to kill Farrow’s long-gestating Weinstein exposé.”
Farrow went on to tell the Reporter that his book reveals how NBC’s internal secrets were “under threat of exposure, and it is very clear from the conversations I document how heavily those secrets weighed on their judgment.” Farrow also reports on Weinstein’s communications with the top brass of NBC News and MSNBC, including one troubling instance where the film producer gloated when he believed that he killed Farrow’s reporting:
Though his contract with NBC News would not expire until October 2017, Farrow says by September, Weinstein was given assurances by executives that he was no longer working on the story for NBC. Farrow cites a phone call in which Griffin told Weinstein the story was not running as well as a call between Weinstein attorney David Boies and Lack during which Lack told Boies: “We’ve told Harvey we’re not doing a story. If we decide to do a story, we’ll tell him.” Weinstein was ecstatic, boasting in his offices that he would also quash the rumored Times piece: “If I can get a network to kill a story, how hard can a newspaper be?” Later, Weinstein would send Oppenheim an email acknowledging their prior friction (“I know we’ve been on opposite sides of the fence …”) and complimenting Megyn Kelly’s morning TV debut: “… she was terrific … the format is outstanding …” (He did not mention Farrow.) Oppenheim responded: “Thanks Harvey, appreciate the well-wishes!” Weinstein then sent Oppenheim a bottle of Grey Goose vodka.
Farrow also shares details about his friction with NBC as he ran his Weinstein exposes with The New Yorker. Farrow highlighted a tense phone call he had with NBC News general counsel Susan Weiner about his status with the network, and after pointing to other examples, he expressed his view that he is almost completely blacklisted by NBC now.
The news of Weinstein’s media pressure campaign comes as another portion of Farrow’s book reveals claims by a former NBC employee who claims Lauer raped her during the Sochi Olympics. The woman says that she told multiple people at the network about Lauer’s alleged actions, but NBC took action to legally suppress her claims, which Farrow attributed to the network’s efforts to cover for Lauer.
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