LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein hired former Israeli intelligence officers with the ultimate goal of keeping sexual harassment allegations quiet, according to a new report.
Just last year, Weinstein allegedly sought to suppress allegations of sexual harassment from numerous women by hiring former spies to contact his accusers, dig for information, then use that information to shame and discredit them, reports Ronan Farrow, who broke the wide-ranging scandal in The New Yorker.
One of the companies hired to follow Weinstein’s accusers included Black Cube, which is run by former officers of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency. According to the report, two Black Cube investigators used false identification to meet with actress Rose McGowan. Posing as a womens rights advocate, the unidentified investigator secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan, Farrow reports.
McGowan was ultimately named as one of several women to reach a monetary settlement with Weinstein over a reported “incident” in a hotel room. The actress later accused Weinstein of rape, in spite of the non-disclosure agreement in the settlement.
Nearly 80 women have since accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, misconduct, and rape, and he is now the subject of criminal investigations in cities including Los Angeles and New York. The outcry over sexual harassment has ensnared several other Hollywood figures like writer/director James Toback and actor Kevin Spacey, and has had far-ranging repercussions for Weinstein, including being fired by his own production company, The Weinstein Co.
Weinstein has been kicked out of several Hollywood organizations, the latest of which was the Television Academy, whose leadership voted Monday to ban the producer for life. Weinstein is primarily known as a film producer but his former company is also responsible for hit television series such as “Project Runway.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and producers guild have also revoked Weinstein’s membership.
His representative Sallie Hofmeister did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
The Television Academy says it is also speeding up a review of its code of conduct for members, and wants to provide clear protocols for workplace decency and respect.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)