Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein hired investigators to collect damaging information on the women accusing him of mistreatment, including actresses Rose McGowan and Annabella Sciorra, as well as reporters working on the story, The New Yorker reported.
One of the reporters investigated was the magazine’s Ronan Farrow, who wrote the story published online Monday.
Weinstein’s representative, Sallie Hofmeister, did not immediately return an email seeking comment on the story.
The investigators hired by Weinstein, according to The New Yorker, used false identities and met with McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape. One of the investigators pretended to be a women’s rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan, the magazine reported. McGowan’s growing sense that she was being spied upon by operatives who initially struck her as friendly people deepened her sense of paranoia, according to the magazine article.
“It was like the movie ‘Gaslight,’ ” McGowan said, according to the magazine. “Everyone lied to me all the time.”
In the month or so since The New York Times first reported the sexual mistreatment allegations against Weinstein, nearly 80 women have come forward to tell stories about the movie and television producer.
Also on Monday, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which bestows the Emmy Awards, expelled Weinstein. The TV group’s action came just a few weeks after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild of America revoked his membership.
In New York, the NYPD has been investigating allegations that Weinstein raped an actress in 2010. Last week, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said, “We have an actual case” and were moving ahead with gathering evidence.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had little to say about the matter.
“We are not commenting on the investigation or any timeline,” said Vance spokeswoman Joan Vollero.
A legal source familiar with the case said if Weinstein were to be charged that he would probably return voluntarily to New York.
Another legal source not involved in the case said — despite Boyce’s pronouncement — Vance’s office may be proceeding carefully and may not be convinced the evidence is strong enough to sustain a prosecution.
With Combined News Services