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Harvey Weinstein Hired Former Spies to Counter Sex Abuse Accusers

Harvey Weinstein hired former spies and military personnel to stop his accusers going public with allegations of sexual misconduct, a leading magazine has reported.

The private detectives are said to have used fake identities and recorded conversations to build a picture of those making the claims, according to The New Yorker.

The Holywood mogul reportedly hired Black Cube, a security firm which employs people once with the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, and the corporate intelligence giant Kroll.

The article was written by Ronan Farrow, the journalist and son of actress Mia Farrow and filmmaker Woody Allen, who reported some of the original Weinstein allegations.

His piece says two Black Cube private investigators met with Rose McGowan, the actress who would later accuse Weinstein of raping her, to obtain information.

One pretended to be a women's rights advocate while meeting McGowan and recorded some of the conversations, according to the magazine.

Journalists investigating Mr Weinstein were also said to have been approached in an apparent attempt to gain information about those making allegations.

The magazine said documents detailing the women, their claims and even pictures of them alongside Mr Weinstein after the alleged incidents were compiled.

Ms McGowan told the magazine: “It scared me because I knew what it meant to be threatened by Harvey. I was in fear of him finding me.”

She added: “It was like the movie ‘Gaslight’. Everyone lied to me all the time ... [For the past year] I’ve lived inside a mirrored fun house.”

The article was based on “dozens of pages of documents and seven people directly involved in the effort”, which was said to have lasted a year.

Sallie Hofmeister, Mr Weinstein’s spokesman, told the magazine: “It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.”

Mr Weinstein is facing allegations of sexual abuse or ​harassment from more than 40 women, including Holywood stars such as Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. He is being investigated by police in London, New York and Los Angeles.

On Monday, Mr Weinstein was expelled for life from the Television Academy after a vote following allegations made against him.

A statement from the body read: "The Academy supports those speaking out against harassment in all forms and stands behind those who have been affected by this issue

“The unfolding and widespread examples of this horrific behavior are deeply disturbing to the Academy’s leadership.

"We have been in contact with leaders across the industry and share with them a deep sense of responsibility to provide clear workplace benchmarks reflecting decency and respect.”

A spokesman for Black Cube said: "It is Black Cube’s policy to never discuss its clients with any third party, and to never confirm or deny any speculation made with regard to the company’s work.

"Black Cube supports the work of many leading law firms around the world, especially in the US, gathering evidence for complex legal processes, involving commercial disputes, among them uncovering negative campaigns. The company does not get involved in family disputes or sexual harassment cases.

"It should be highlighted that Black Cube applies high moral standards to its work, and operates in full compliance with the law of any jurisdiction in which it operates - strictly following the guidance and legal opinions provided by leading law firms from around the world."