Movies

Report: Weinstein hired spies to silence accusers

Harvey Weinstein hired journalists and highly trained former spies and military personnel who used fake identities to try to stop accusers from going public with sexual misconduct claims against him, The New Yorker reported on Monday.

The news came as the Television Academy, which hands out the Emmy Awards, was said to have expelled Weinstein "for life".

Among the private security agencies hired by Weinstein starting around late last year, the magazine said, was Black Cube, which is largely run by former officers of Israeli intelligence agencies, such as Mossad.

Two Black Cube private eyes met with US actress Rose McGowan - before she publicly accused Weinstein of raping her - to obtain information.

One of the investigators secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan while pretending to be a women's rights advocates, said the magazine, citing documents and seven people directly involved in Weinstein's efforts.

The spy used a different fake identity to meet with a journalist while claiming to have an accusation against Weinstein, to learn which women were talking to the media.

Weinstein and the private eyes also used journalists to extract details from women making claims against him.

During his year-long effort, Weinstein and his team would collect information on dozens of people, compiling psychological profiles with their personal or sexual histories in order to contradict, discredit or intimidate his targets.

The New Yorker said Weinstein sought the assistance of former workers from his movie enterprises to help collect names and place calls.

Investigations also sometimes went through Weinstein's lawyers, said the magazine.

Weinstein's spokesman Sallie Hofmeister dismissed the report, saying: "It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time." - AFP

hollywoodsexual assaultSpy