Harvey Weinstein poses on the Red Carpet after arriving at the 89th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, US, February 26, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE)
WASHINGTON – US film producer Harvey Weinstein contracted former Mossad agents to track down and ultimately silence women preparing to accuse him of sexual assault, says a report published in The New Yorker.
Weinstein, the magazine reported on Monday, retained the services of Black Cube – a firm that describes itself on its website as “a select group of veterans from the Israeli elite intelligence units specializing in tailored solutions to complex business and litigation challenges” – in fall 2016. The firm has a branch in Tel Aviv, but operates across Europe and the United States.
The explicit goal of Weinstein’s agreement with Black Cube, according to a written contract, was to “stop the publication of the abuse allegations against Weinstein that eventually emerged,” according to the report, which has yet to be independently confirmed by The Jerusalem Post
"More than a year ago, Mr. [Ehud] Barak was asked by Harvey Weinstein whether he is familiar with an Israeli security company, which is capable of helping him with some business issues he is facing," a spokesman for Ehud Barak told the Post
. "Barak confirmed that the company that Weinstein has mentioned was probably Black Cube, and that it is indeed working from Israel.
"Barak does not know the company or its managers personally, but he did provide Weinstein with its contact information. Until this morning, Barak was not aware that the company was hired by Weinstein, neither did he know any of the purposes or activities it was hired for," the spokesman continued.
Ronan Farrow, who authored the piece, is one of the reporters who broke the original news that Weinstein had been accused of assaulting several women
over the course of decades.
The tactics of Black Cube operatives include undercover intelligence collection through the use of aliases. They approached some of the women preparing to come forward as well as reporters investigating the case.
Weinstein may soon face charges in New York State for accusations of sexual assault that are still prosecutable within the statute of limitations.
News of the Hollywood producer’s habitual attacks on women reverberated across the US and Europe this month. Women on Capitol Hill and in the British House of Commons – as well as in law, tech and business – have been encouraged by his case to speak out on their own experiences of abuse.