NEW YORK (AP) — A new book by The New York Times reporters who uncovered sexual misconduct accusations against Harvey Weinstein reveals the identities of some of the whistleblowers who aided their investigation and includes new details on the movie mogul’s attempts to persuade the newspaper not to publish the story.
“She Said,” by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, details how Weinstein and a team of lawyers including an unlikely ally, the feminist lawyer Lisa Bloom, tried to convince reporters that accusers including the actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan were unreliable and mentally unstable.
The book, which hits bookstore shelves Tuesday from Penguin Press, includes a copy of a confidential memo Bloom wrote to Weinstein in December 2016, in which she said she was “equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them.”
“They start out as impressive, bold women, but the more one presses for evidence, the weaknesses and lies are revealed,” wrote Bloom, who has represented women who accused comedian Bill Cosby, former Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly and US President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct.
Bloom also suggested planting articles portraying McGowan as “unglued.”
Bloom later told Kantor and Twohey she “deeply regretted” representing Weinstein and called the endeavor a “colossal mistake.”
In another example of pulling back the curtain on their reporting, Kantor and Twohey reveal in the book that Weinstein’s longtime accountant, Irwin Reiter, had secretly provided them with information about women who had complained that they were harassed or assaulted by Weinstein, and the company’s failure to do anything about repeated complaints.
That included giving the reporters an internal memo in which a movie studio employee described Weinstein’s harassment of female employees and actresses.
“She Said” also includes a previously unreported allegation from Rowena Chiu, a former assistant at Weinstein’s Miramax studio, who says Weinstein pushed her against a bed and tried to rape her two decades ago.
Weinstein’s lawyer, Donna Rotunno, said those allegations and others in the book are false.
“This book contains one-sided allegations without having adequately investigated the facts of each situation,” she wrote, adding that there is a “very different side to every story.” Rotunno said Weinstein and Chiu had “a six-month physical relationship” that was consensual. She added that Weinstein was “now studying taking legal action” against Chiu for breaking a nondisclosure agreement.
“As for Mr. Reiter, we know that he has his own dark reasons for sabotaging Mr. Weinstein and the company,” Rotunno added.
Weinstein, 67, is scheduled to go to trial in January on charges alleging he raped an unidentified woman in his Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.
Among other things, “She Said” details how Weinstein’s brother and business partner, Bob Weinstein, tried to convince him to get help two years before he was engulfed by the firestorm of allegations.
It includes a previously unreported letter Bob Weinstein wrote in 2015 in which he told his brother he had “brought shame to the family.”
“Your reaction was once more to blame the victims, or to minimize the misbehavior in various ways. If you think nothing is wrong with your misbehavior so in this area then announce it to your wife and family,” Bob Weinstein wrote in the memo.