New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman says she had a story prepared about former Miramax executive Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse and misconduct, but the paper gutted her piece in 2004 under pressure from Weinstein himself and other celebrities, she wrote in The Wrap.
Waxman adds that the story was killed after “intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call [her] directly” to vouch for a Miramax Italy employee who she says oversaw the hiring of women to fulfill Harvey Weinstein’s “needs” while traveling.
“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,” wrote Waxman. “But I had the facts, and this was the Times. Right?”
Not quite. She says the story was “gutted” under pressure and “buried” in the paper’s Culture section once it finally made the light of day. The story’s main thrust, she says, was about the firing of Fabrizio Lombardo of Miramax Italy, the man responsible for handling Weinstein’s “needs” who allegedly drew a salary of around $400,000 per year.
Waxman says she had “multiple” people telling her on-record that Lombardo had “no film experience” but regularly hosted evening gatherings with “Russian escorts.”
Weinstein was fired from the company bearing his name Sunday, the remaining board members of the Weinstein Company announced. Other board members departed before Weinstein was fired but after the New York Times piece was released, according to CNN.