In a new knot on the already tangled-up and twisted chain of events that has followed the revelation of Harvey Weinstein's many cases of alleged sexual harassment, assault, and rape against a growing number of female co-workers, assistants, and actresses, it turns out the Hollywood mogul has been working with an army of spies to keep his victims from speaking out. In a new report published by the The New Yorker on Monday (November 6th), journalist Rowan Farrow writes about how newly found documents disclose that Weinstein worked with several intelligence companies to make sure his past victims would remain silent as he kept on assaulitng more women.
Two of the main firms he worked with are Kroll, one of the biggest corporate intelligence firms, and Black Cube, which is headed mainly by Israeli intelligence workers and former Mossad officers. Weinstein and the firms he hired didn't just use bribes and other approaches generally used to keep people from speaking up. They specifically hired female spies who disguised themselves as women's rights advocates in order to come across as credible to the female victims they approached, and thus win their trust and get them to disclose details about themselves they'd likely normally never would have in any other circumstances.
The report by The New Yorker specifically details the story of the female spy working for Black Cube who, in the spring of 2017, reached out to actress Rose McGowan (one of the first, and most outspoken, victims to have come forward about Weinstein's abuse) in an effort to try to extract information from her about the Weinstein events. The woman, who went under the false name Diana Filip, disguised herself as a women's right's advocate working for London-based wealth-management fund Reuben Capital Partners. She offered McGowan a fee of $60,000 to participate in gala event as part of an initative "to combat discrimination against women in the workplace," according to the New Yorker. McGowan met "Filip" on several occasions and became more and more comfortable around her, and because of this started to share more details with her — which was, naturally, Weinstein's goal in hiring her and the other spies in the first place. Filip and her colleagues also repeatedly reached out to journalists they knew were involved in the effort to publish the assault allegations against Weinstein, with the goal to prevent this from happening.
This new report shows just how far men like Weinstein will go to protect their own misogynist asses, implementing straight-up nauseatuing tools to do so. As if the disgusting power abuse used to repeatedly sexually harass, assault, and rape woman after woman, decade upon decade, the way Weinstein systematically has done, wouldn't be more-than-illegal-enough. The fact that he then has the ability, the money, and the cowardly over-entitlement needed to clean up his traces with the use of maybe the most misogynist cleaning wipes one could come across, shows us how deeply chauvenistically screwed up the world surrounding us still is in 2017.
Time and time again, it seems we've sunk low enough on the scale of realizing just how twisted the tactics of patriarchy are, but this might actually take the new first spot: repeatedly raping and abusing women, and then shutting them up by hiding behind an army of spies disguised as "women's rights advocates." But Weinstein, the increasingly expanding list of powerful men accused of sexual harassment in the past month, and the even more yet-unnamed men, know this: your days of spies are over. We can see you, we can hear you, and more importantly, we are building our own (real) armies of women's right's advocates who are speaking out against men like you, and our voices are not gonna get tired anytime soon. In fact, they're only bound to get louder.
Top photo by Thomas Hawk/Flickr.com
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Amanda Brohman is a 23-year old editorial intern at BUST, a freelance writer, blogger and fashion journalism student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She loves everything that glitters, taking long walks in and around her SoHo neighborhood, and drinking Chardonnay on her fire escape at midnight whilst listening to Halsey.