A compilation photo of Harvey Weinstein and Ehud Barak.
(photo credit: REUTERS FILE PHOTOS)
WASHINGTON – Former prime minister Ehud Barak connected US film producer Harvey Weinstein with an Israeli-run company that acted to silence his accusers, a spokesman on his behalf told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, adding however, that Barak did not know how the Hollywood executive planned to employ the firm.
“More than a year ago, Mr. Barak was asked by Harvey Weinstein whether he is familiar with an Israeli security company, which would be capable of helping him with some business issues he was facing,” a spokesman for the former premier told the Post. “Barak confirmed that the company that Weinstein mentioned was probably Black Cube, and that it was 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, nor did he know any of the purposes or activities it was hired for,” the spokesman continued.The New Yorker
reported on Monday that Weinstein had 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.
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 face charges in New York State as soon as next week 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.