After much anticipation, Ronan Farrow‘s lengthy account of the time before, during and after the Harvey Weinstein scandal is here.
Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, Farrow’s new book out now, covers a lot of ground in the sexual harassment scandal that ignited a wave of change in Hollywood and beyond, empowering women all over.
In addition to Farrow’s explosive interview with Brooke Nevils, a former NBC News employee, who alleges that former Today co-anchor Matt Lauer raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics (Lauer has denied the charge), the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer dives into his very personal connections to his reporting, and exposes how far Weinstein seemingly went to silence him.
Matt Lauer texted Farrow to congratulate him after his New Yorker story broke
Even though he’d face his own allegations just weeks after, Lauer still reached out to Farrow after The New Yorker published his damning exposé on Weinstein.
In October 2017, writers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published a feature in The New York Times, in which eight women, including actress Ashley Judd, accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. Days later, the New Yorker published an additional exposé written by Farrow, which included 13 women’s accounts of alleged sexual harassment and assault or rape at the mogul’s hands.
Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex and retaliation.
In his book, Farrow claims NBC News head Noah Oppenheim asked him to appear on the network, seemingly attempting to smooth things over between the journalist and the network that had passed on running the story. Several hours later, Farrow says he got a congratulatory text from one of the biggest names at NBC.
“Ronan, it’s Matt Lauer. Let me be the 567th person to say congratulations on an amazing piece!” Farrow says the text read.
Lauer would get fired for his own sexual abuse allegations weeks later. Like Weinstein, he has denied all allegations of engaging in nonconsensual sex.
Weinstein called Farrow’s estranged father Woody Allen for advice on how to stop him
Farrow says Weinstein called Allen for help on how to “deal with this” when he learned of Farrow’s reporting.
Allen reportedly declined getting involved, telling Weinstein, “Jeez, I’m so sorry. Good luck.”
However, according to Farrow Allen did suggest Weinstein buy a book which detailed Allen’s defense when he was accused of sexual abuse by then-7-year-old Dylan, Farrow’s sister and Allen’s daughter. Farrow says Weinstein later used some of the same tactics to discredit the journalist in his defense against the claims.
Weinstein knew Georgina Chapman would leave him after Farrow’s story — but thought she’d stick by him at first
Shortly after The New York Times published the initial story on him, Weinstein was apparently glad to see it wasn’t as bad as he thought. Instead, the mogul left his team and headed to see wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman.
“She said, ‘I’ll stick with you,’ ” Weinstein told his team members, according to Farrow.
But days later, when Farrow’s New Yorker piece went live, Weinstein knew it had all changed.
“She’s gonna leave me,” Farrow claims Weinstein said under his breath.
Chapman announced she was leaving Weinstein on October 10 — the same day Farrow’s story broke.
WATCH: Harvey Weinstein Hired Intelligence Agencies to Spy on Accusers Including Rose McGowan: Report
Antony Bourdain ‘prayed’ for Farrow to have the strength to run his story on Weinstein
In the weeks leading up to Farrow’s story being published, the journalist and his editor had a very vocal supporter — beloved late chef Anthony Bourdain.
Farrow writes that Bourdain was supportive of girlfriend Asia Argento from the start, telling her to “keep going, that it was worth it, that it would make a difference.” Argento ultimately went on the record in Farrow’s story, accusing Weinstein of sexual assault.
And when it seemed like Weinstein was closing in on stopping him, Farrow says Bourdain followed up with another encouraging note for him and New Yorker editor David Remnick.
“I am not a religious man,” Bourdain wrote, according to Farrow, “But I pray you have the strength to run this story.”
Meryl Streep gasped when she heard Weinstein allegations — and Farrow believes she never knew
While trying to find more leads in his investigation, Farrow reached out to three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep, who had often worked with Weinstein. But when Farrow brought up that he was looking to talk to her about the mogul, Streep gasped in shock.
“But he supports such good causes,” Streep replied, according to Farrow. The journalist writes Streep knew Weinstein “to be a bully in the edit room. But that was it.”
Later, when Farrow recounted the story to his boyfriend Jon Lovett, the journalist said he believed Streep didn’t know about the allegations of Weinstein’s sexual abuse towards other women.
Streep went on to garner criticism for working so closely with Weinstein, and released a statement assuring she wasn’t aware.
“I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts,” she said in the statement. “And If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.”
Rose McGowan grew close with a special operative Weinstein secretly hired
Farrow writes in length about the spies Weinstein allegedly hired to follow him and the women Weinstein wanted to silence. One of the investigators, Farrow claims, posed as a women’s rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan, who accused Weinstein of rape.
The woman was a former officer in the Israeli Defense Forces who was recruited by Black Cube, the special ops agency Farrow claims Weinstein employed. The woman went by the name Diana Filip when she grew close with McGowan, and Farrow writes that she even sent her an encouraging note the day his New Yorker story broke.
But the woman’s real name, Farrow writes, is Stella Pechanac, and McGowan felt betrayed when she found out her close friend was apparently a Weinstein-hired spy.
“It was like the movie Gaslight,” McGowan told Farrow. “Everyone lied to me all the time. I’ve lived inside a mirrored fun house.”