NEW YORK ― Ronan Farrow’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s long history of alleged sexual misconduct was in NBC’s hands as recently as August, according to multiple sources both inside and outside the network. By then, Farrow, an NBC contributor and investigative reporter, had already obtained damning audio of an encounter Weinstein had with a woman, in which Weinstein admits to having groped her, sources told HuffPost.
Instead, Farrow’s story — and the audio, from a 2015 New York Police Department sting — appeared Tuesday on the website of The New Yorker. Sources told HuffPost that NBC had concerns related to the story’s sourcing and cleared Farrow to take it to The New Yorker.
It’s not clear what those concerns were. In The New Yorker story, several women spoke on the record about their encounters with Weinstein. Among them were Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino and filmmaker Asia Argento, the latter of whom said Weinstein raped her.
The story relinquished by NBC, according to a network source, was “nowhere close to what ultimately ran in the NY Times or the New Yorker.” The network declined to comment on the record.
Curtis Houck, managing editor of NewsBusters, was among those raising questions about the NBC decision.
Early in his investigation, Farrow told multiple people he was working on the story for NBC. In at least one instance, Farrow mentioned that he had already done on-camera interviews for his expose. Two sources familiar with Farrow’s reporting confirmed that he had conducted on-camera interviews; it’s unclear if any of those interviews were with the women who have accused Weinstein of harassment or assault.
Journalist Lynn Hirschberg, who has covered Hollywood for years, told HuffPost that Farrow had called her seeking help for the story. “He said he was doing a special for NBC News,” she said. “He had somebody who was willing to be on camera. He definitely never said a word about the New Yorker....”
The issue, she said, wasn’t with Farrow’s journalism, but with that of NBC: “It’s really a question about NBC’s courage.”
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