Tag Archives: Ronan Farrow

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

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This week, we’re sharing stories from Ronan Farrow, Diana Nyad, Rachel Monroe, Ross Andersen, and Teresa Mathew.

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Harvey Weinstein’s Failed Attempt to Hire Private Eyes to Silence His Accusers

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Ronan Farrow has another stunning story about Harvey Weinstein in The New Yorker, this time revealing how the Hollywood mogul hired private investigators, including ex-Mossad agents, to dig up dirt on journalists investigating him and on his accusers in an attempt to quash sexual abuse allegations made against him.

Here’s one example, of an agent from Black Cube (an “enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies”), who Weinstein hired to extract information from the actress Rose McGowan:

In May, 2017, McGowan received an e-mail from a literary agency introducing her to a woman who identified herself as Diana Filip, the deputy head of sustainable and responsible investments at Reuben Capital Partners, a London-based wealth-management firm. Filip told McGowan that she was launching an initiative to combat discrimination against women in the workplace, and asked McGowan, a vocal women’s-rights advocate, to speak at a gala kickoff event later that year. Filip offered McGowan a fee of sixty thousand dollars. “I understand that we have a lot in common,” Filip wrote to McGowan before their first meeting, in May, at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. Filip had a U.K. cell-phone number, and she spoke with what McGowan took to be a German accent. Over the following months, the two women met at least three more times at hotel bars in Los Angeles and New York and other locations. “I took her to the Venice boardwalk and we had ice cream while we strolled,” McGowan told me, adding that Filip was “very kind.” The two talked at length about issues relating to women’s empowerment. Filip also repeatedly told McGowan that she wanted to make a significant investment in McGowan’s production company.

Filip was persistent. In one e-mail, she suggested meeting in Los Angeles and then, when McGowan said she would be in New York, Filip said she could meet there just as easily. She also began pressing McGowan for information. In a conversation in July, McGowan revealed to Filip that she had spoken to me as part of my reporting on Weinstein. A week later, I received an e-mail from Filip asking for a meeting and suggesting that I join her campaign to end professional discrimination against women. “I am very impressed with your work as a male advocate for gender equality, and believe that you would make an invaluable addition to our activities,” she wrote, using her wealth-management firm’s e-mail address. Unsure of who she was, I did not respond.

Filip continued to meet with McGowan. In one meeting in September, Filip was joined by another Black Cube operative, who used the name Paul and claimed to be a colleague at Reuben Capital Partners. The goal, according to two sources with knowledge of the effort, was to pass McGowan to another operative to extract more information. On October 10th, the day The New Yorker published my story about Weinstein, Filip reached out to McGowan in an e-mail. “Hi Love,” she wrote. “How are you feeling? . . . Just wanted to tell you how brave I think you are.” She signed off with an “xx.” Filip e-mailed McGowan as recently as October 23rd.

In fact, “Diana Filip” was an alias for a former officer in the Israeli Defense Forces who originally hailed from Eastern Europe and was working for Black Cube, according to three individuals with knowledge of the situation. When I sent McGowan photos of the Black Cube agent, she recognized her instantly. “Oh my God,” she wrote back. “Reuben Capital. Diana Filip. No fucking way.”

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The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Ronan Farrow, Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, Vivian Ho, Christopher Goffard, Kaitlyn Greenidge, and Alex Pappademas.

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What Happens When Ronan Farrow Interviews Miley Cyrus

Beyond music, Cyrus is expanding her interests. After her breakup, she tells me, she asked Diane Martel, the director responsible for Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” videos, to “just completely, like, drown me in new movies and books and art. I lived in Nashville, where that shit isn’t accessible.” We flip through a book of photographs by Cindy Sherman. “Check it,” she says as we arrive at Sherman’s Untitled #276, in which the artist poses as a kind of grungy Cinderella. “Lady Gaga completely ripped that off.” Cyrus is finding her taste in movies, too. She tells me she just watched the Tom Cruise 1990 drama Days of Thunder three nights in a row. She’s also newly enamored with the 1951 film version of A Streetcar Named Desire. “I’m Blanche to a T, complete psycho,” she burbles cheerfully. I stare at her. I literally cannot imagine anyone less like Tennessee Williams’s fragile, lost Blanche DuBois. “Every time I watched her,” she goes on, “I was always like, ‘That’s me!’ ” If Cyrus is a Vivien Leigh performance, it’s Scarlett O’Hara in the early scenes of Gone With the Wind. She’s impetuous, beautiful, smarter than many give her credit for, slow to listen, quick to talk, adept at using her sexuality to her own ends. As for the world beyond the arts, Cyrus is leery.

—Ronan Farrow, on Miley Cyrus in W Magazine.  Read more profiles in the Longreads archive.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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