Harvey Weinstein hired Israeli security agency to collect information on his accusers


Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 12, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Harvey Weinstein hired private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him, including an Israeli firm made up of former Mossad agents.

Black Cube, which Weinstein hired in the fall of 2016 in order to suppress the allegations, has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, and offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow reported Monday, citing the company’s literature and website.

Farrow interviewed 13 women who said Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them and reported about it last month in the New Yorker, one of the first articles about Weinstein’s alleged abuses.

The Black Cube agency was hired specifically to prevent the New York Times and the New Yorker’s investigative reporting on Weinstein, as well as actress Rose McGowan’s book which discusses his alleged abuse, the New Yorker reported, citing a contract signed with Black Cube last July.

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Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies collect information on dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focused on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein personally followed the progress of the investigation. He also enlisted former employees from his film companies to collect names and place calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating, according to the magazine.

In a statement to the New Yorker, Weinstein’s spokesperson, Sallie Hofmeister, said, “It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.”

One Black Cube operative who called herself Diana Filip, the deputy head of sustainable and responsible investments at Reuben Capital Partners, a London-based wealth-management firm, met with McGowan several times on the premise that she wanted to launch an initiative to combat discrimination against women in the workplace, and asked McGowan to speak at a gala kickoff event later that year for a fee of sixty thousand dollars. After McGowan told the woman that she was talking to Farrow for the New Yorker article, Filip called him. Farrow discovered that Diana Filip is an alias for a former officer in the Israeli Defense Forces who originally came from Eastern Europe and was working for Black Cube, he reported, citing three individuals with knowledge of the situation.

The same operative also tried to throw a reporter for New York magazine off of the story, by suggesting that she had an allegation against Weinstein.

Black Cube did not comment to the New Yorker on the specifics of any work it did for Weinstein. The agency said in a statement: “It is Black Cube’s policy to never discuss its clients with any third party, and to never confirm or deny any speculation made with regard to the company’s work. Black Cube supports the work of many leading law firms around the world, especially in the US, gathering evidence for complex legal processes, involving commercial disputes, among them uncovering negative campaigns. . . . It should be highlighted that Black Cube applies high moral standards to its work, and operates in full compliance with the law of any jurisdiction in which it operates—strictly following the guidance and legal opinions provided by leading law firms from around the world.”