Ronan Farrow says Harvey Weinstein personally threatened to sue him before he published a bombshell piece in The New Yorker accusing the Hollywood mogul of raping three women and sexual assaulting several others.
Mr. Farrow told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that the sources in his story were repeatedly harassed by Mr. Weinstein’s legal “machine” and were “legitimately afraid” about what coming forward would mean for their careers and their livelihoods.
“In the course of this reporting, I was threatened with a lawsuit personally by Mr. Weinstein,” he added of his own experience during his 10-month investigation.
Mr. Farrow, a freelance NBC News correspondent, also disputed an NBC insider’s claim that his reporting on Mr. Weinstein wasn’t publishable at the time he first pitched it to the network and that it was “radically different” from the piece that ultimately ran in The New Yorker.
Mr. Farrow fired back, saying, “I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier, and immediately, obviously, The New Yorker recognized that, and it is not accurate to say that it was not reportable. In fact, there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC.”
“I will say that over many years, many news organizations have circled this story and faced a great deal of pressure in doing so,” he said.
Mr. Farrow’s report published Tuesday claims that three women, including actress Asia Argento, were allegedly raped by Mr. Weinstein and that the film producer was guilty of “forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex.”
An additional four women reportedly told Mr. Farrow that they experienced “unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault” at the hands of Mr. Weinstein.
Sallie Hofmeister, a spokesperson for Mr. Weinstein, said in a statement that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
Mr. Farrow’s piece arrived on the heels of a Oct. 5 report by The New York Times revealing that Mr. Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women alleging sexual harassment.
Mr. Weinstein’s attorney, Charles J. Harder, said they were preparing a lawsuit against The Times for the report, calling it “defamatory.”
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