According to Ronan Farrow’s comprehensive article in The New Yorker, “(m)ultiple sources” told him how Weinstein bragged that he could use his allies in the press to crush anyone who crossed him.
Longtime editor Tina Brown — ironically, one of Weinstein’s erstwhile clean-up gals — told Charlie Rose: “What I found really unsettling was how many journalists, frankly, were on his payroll. I mean, you know, Harvey would have everyone on his payroll. All the people at the (New York) Post and people in all the tabloids, people writing stuff, entertainment writers, gossip writers.”
I knew the gossip pages were written by PR agents, but I didn’t realize they were written by sexual predators, too. I was curious about exactly who was protecting Harvey and, luckily, I have a Nexis account. The full list would take me well over my word limit, so this column will focus on the tabloid most slavishly devoted to protecting Weinstein’s good name: the New York Post.
Farrow’s sources cited as their proof of how Weinstein could dirty up an accuser the coordinated tabloid attacks on Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez after she reported Weinstein’s assault on her to the police in 2015.
According to the detailed, heavily sourced and, apparently, 100 percent accurate account given by Farrow, 22-year-old Gutierrez met Weinstein at a Radio City Music Hall reception. The next day, Weinstein requested that Gutierrez come to his Tribeca office, “as soon as possible,” according to her agent.
In her interview, Tina Brown explained exactly how Weinstein controlled reporters: “If there was any stirring of a negative story, Harvey would offer them a book contract, a development deal, a consultancy, and they used to succumb. Journalists are often short of money, and they were also very star-struck with the world that Harvey offered, which was movies and Hollywood.”
So what DID the bitter gossip girls get? Did Mara Siegler, Jamie Schram, Danika Fears or Maria Wiesner end up with phony “consultancies,” “book contracts” or “movie options” with Weinstein’s companies? (Paging the IRS!)