Thursday, 09 November 2017

Hollywood Muscle: Weinstein Sought to Intimidate Abuse Victims Into Silence

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Former child actor Corey Feldman recently said his efforts to expose Hollywood pedophilia had him “fearing for his life.” Alt-Right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos once stated that he would be discreet about naming Tinseltown figures involved in child sexual abuse he witnessed because, as he put it, “I think it’s going to be, yeah, dangerous.” While this may sound melodramatic, these fears are placed in perspective by a new revelation: that disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein hired private investigators, including ex-Mossad agents, to track (and presumably intimidate) actresses and journalists.

This raises a question: If Weinstein employed this tactic, how many other powerful Hollywood figures have done likewise?

As for Weinstein’s army of spies, the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow reported Monday:

In the fall of 2016, Harvey Weinstein set out to suppress allegations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted numerous women. He began to hire private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations. According to dozens of pages of documents, and seven people directly involved in the effort, the firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature.

Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her. One of the investigators pretended to be a women’s-rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan. The same operative, using a different false identity and implying that she had an allegation against Weinstein, met twice with a journalist to find out which women were talking to the press. In other cases, journalists directed by Weinstein or the private investigators interviewed women and reported back the details.

The explicit goal of the investigations, laid out in one contract with Black Cube, signed in July, was to stop the publication of the abuse allegations against Weinstein that eventually emerged in the New York Times and The New Yorker. Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies “target,” or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focussed on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally. He also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.

After the Weinstein scandal broke, other powerful men were accused of sexual abuse, among them actor Ben Affleck, The Loud House creator Chris Savino, screenwriter and director James Toback, ex-head of Amazon Studios Roy Price, journalist Mark Halperin, NPR editor Michael Oreskes, and celebrity chef John Besh.

Most notably, actor Kevin Spacey was accused by actor Anthony Rapp “of making a sexual advance toward him when both of them were working on Broadway in 1986,” reports CNN. “Rapp was 14 at the time and Spacey was 26. Rapp alleged Spacey approached him in a bedroom at a house party and ‘picked [him] up like a groom picks up the bride" and put him on the bed, falling on top of him.’”

Spacey is notable for another reason: As with Weinstein and other Hollywood abusers, his depredations were an open secret. In fact, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane alluded to them in an episode of the show airing in 2005. The clip shows “Stewie, the baby of the show's family, running through a room yelling, ‘Help! I've escaped from Kevin Spacey's basement! Help me!’” (video below) CNN related.

Spacey’s transgressions have also been regularly mocked on Hulu’s popular show Difficult People.  

Yet, tragically, knowing but not saying is par for the course in a Hollywood where pedophilia (mostly pederasty, actually) is apparently rampant. I reported on this in “Hollywood Dearest: Seared Souls and the Silver Screen”; “Mr. Hollywood Expelled From the Orgy”; and, most recently, in “An Open Secret”: Must-watch Documentary on Hollywood’s Casting Couch for Kids.

A number of more minor Hollywood figures have already been convicted of child sexual abuse. But we understand that most abusers — including the big fish — still haven’t been held accountable.

And if Weinstein’s army of spies is any indication, perhaps we now know another reason why. Hollywood is much like the mafia: a powerful, insular organization run by rich men who wield great influence. Their funding of Democrats to the tune of millions amounts to protection money: Don’t bother us, and we’ll fill your coffers. Try bothering us, and we’ll make you pay.

Corey Feldman has said that pedophiles in Hollywood are “everywhere, like vultures.” Let’s just hope that, like Weinstein, they go from everywhere to nowhere — and are reduced from making movies to license plates. 

Photo of Harvey Weinstein (right): Photo © Nick Stepowy

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