The New York Times was moving forward with a story about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct in 2004, until Weinstein ratcheted up pressure on the newspaper, according to a report in TheWrap by former New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman.
Waxman writes that she reported a story for The Times in 2004 about Weinstein’s exploits in Europe, but the story as she reported it never ran. Waxman notes that she was still a relatively new hire at The Times in 2004.
A key player in her story was Fabrizio Lombardo, the head of Miramax Italy at the time, whom Waxman describes as “a procurer.” Lombardo apparently left Miramax around the time of Waxman’s investigation.
“After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at The Times, the story was gutted,” Waxman writes. “I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in The Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.”
Waxman adds: “The story was stripped of any reference to sexual favors or coercion and buried on the inside of the Culture section, an obscure story about Miramax firing an Italian executive [Lombardo]. Who cared?”
Waxman says she also met with a woman in London who had reportedly been paid off after an unwanted sexual encounter with Weinstein. “She was terrified to speak because of her non-disclosure agreement, but at least we had evidence of a payoff,” Waxman writes.