Harvey Weinstein tried to undermine women’s claims of sexual assault against him by telling journalist Ronan Farrow there was “no retaliation in Hollywood”, according to an excerpt from his new book Catch and Kill.
The extract, which was published in The Guardian ahead of the book’s release on 15 October, explains how Farrow approached Weinstein for comment as his investigation into the disgraced producer’s alleged sexual misconduct in autumn 2017. (Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.)
Farrow, who by this point had taken his story to the New Yorker, says he had multiple conversations with Weinstein and his lawyers before the story was published.
“Weinstein hung up on me several times that fall, including on that first day,” Farrow writes. “I told him I wanted to be fair, to include anything he had to say, then asked if he was comfortable with me recording. He seemed to panic, and was gone with a click. The pattern repeated that afternoon. But when I got him to talk for a sustained time, he abandoned his initial caution and got sharply combative.”
At one point, Weinstein reportedly told Farrow: “You couldn’t save someone you love, and now you think you can save everyone.”
However, in the final moments before the investigation was published, Weinstein sounded “resigned”, Farrow writes. “Several times, he conceded we’d been fair and that he 'deserved' a lot of it.”
Yet he was dismissed the idea that women had not come forward with allegations out of fear that he would retaliate.
“There’s no retaliating in Hollywood,” Weinstein reportedly said, calling the concept of powerful men intimidating women in the film industry a “myth”.
A number of women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including rape, assault and harassment, have said it was fear of his possible influence over their careers that prevented them from speaking up at the time.
The actor Katherine Kendall revealed how the fear of being “blackballed” by Hollywood stopped her from making claims of sexual harassment, after publicly alleging in 2017 that Weinstein harassed her in his apartment in 1993.
“You make yourself a target in a way – I was awful scared that I would be judged, even blackballed. They could make it so you don’t work,” she said.
She decided to come forward after Ashley Judd, the first leading actor to publicly accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, came forward with her story in the New York Times.
Catch And Kill by Ronan Farrow is published by Fleet, an imprint of Little, Brown, on 15 October.