New Yorker Reporter Ronan Farrow, who is known for exposing the sexual assaults committed by Hollywood elite Harvey Weinstein has just come forward with a shocking update on the case. According to Farrow in 2016, Weinstein hired private securities agencies to deal with possible exposure by victims as well as journalists. About Farrow’s article, the BBC writes that “the film producer employed two intelligence companies, Kroll and Black Cube, to try to collect information on several women and on journalists trying to expose the allegations.” Black Cube is an organization that includes members that are “a select group of veterans from the Israeli elite intelligence units”.
The intelligence agencies were used to investigate and report back to Weinstein regarding accusers and journalists who were working on exposing Weinstein. Farrow reported that members of Black Cube posed as a women’s rights advocate and used a fake identity when meeting with a journalist “as a victim.” The individual using the fake identity had met with Weinstein victim Rose McGowan to extract information regarding her allegations, only to report back to Weinstein. Weinstein’s investigations were also conducted through prominent attorney David Boies’s office, who is known for his representation of Al Gore in 2000, and who had “argued for marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The investigator who contacted McGowan used the identity of Diana Filip a “deputy head of sustainable and responsible investments at Reuben Capital Partners, a London-based wealth-management firm.” She told McGowan she was launching a program to fight sex discrimination in the workplace. The two met about four times, and a common theme was the intent of the so-called Filip continuously trying to find out more information regarding McGowan’s accusations against Weinstein. After finding out that McGowan was speaking to Farrow himself about the story, she went on to email him thanking him for his assistance in the story. However, Farrow did not reply as he was not familiar with the individual.
Other victims of Weinstein were also contacted by Weinstein’s private investigators, however. Annabella Sciorra an actress who also has a rape allegation against Weinstein reported getting a phone call from a journalist only to hang up, as she relays to Farrow because “she found the conversation suspicious and got off the phone as quickly as possible. ‘It struck me as B.S.,’ she told me. ‘And it scared me that Harvey was testing to see if I would talk.'”
Weinstein also reportedly had former journalist David Carr who passed in 2015 followed, after he learned about McGowan’s allegations. He had reportedly told his wife he felt he was being followed and watched but my whom he did not know. Many of the women with allegations who were reportedly followed have disclosed the fear and intimidation they felt.
With the continuously growing list of sexual assault victims in Hollywood and outside of Hollywood, relaying their stories with #metoo or simply by telling their story often they are questioned. Much of this cynical outlook on rape victims and victims of sexual assault is based in a culture that tell us to tell but at the same time to suck it up and move on. Not every case involves the dramatic involvement of spy like figures and stalking but that same fear reported by these actresses is shared universally by victims of abuse. It certainly is important to remember that when is comes to predators power, fear, and control are more of the motivating factors in sexual assault cases than sex at all.