Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters who originally broke the Weinstein scandal, tell the story of how it all came to light in their new book She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.
Now, Harvey Weinstein faces five felony charges connected to his patterns of sexual abuse, as well as various civil suits. But back when Kantor and Twohey began looking into some of the rumors about Weinstein, he was still an immensely powerful presence in Hollywood.
The book details how the reporters discovered numerous complaints about inappropriate behavior, under-the-table payoffs to keep people quiet about sexual advances, and patterns of threats and abuse of power.
In a review written for CNN, Melanie Schuman provides some info on what can expect to learn in Kantor & Twohey’s already best-selling account:
The book reveals that Bob Weinstein (Harvey’s brother) and Irwin Reiter (former vice president of accounting for The Weinstein Company) were both major sources for the investigation. Bob consented to multiple interviews for the book, as did Gwyneth Paltrow who Kantor and Twohey describe as a “dead-center source who might know more than anyone yet.” Although Paltrow was initially reluctant to go on record about Weinstein for fear of retribution, it seems she provided some valuable details on the kind of environment Weinstein created.
“It’s the H-bomb, the H-bomb is coming, they would warn before he approached,” Paltrow recounts, describing how employees at Miramax would live in fear of Weinstein.
image via Deadline
As they began their investigation, Kantor and Twohey reached out to former employees of Miramax and Weinstein. Zelda Perkins, one of Weinstein’s former assistants, spoke to the reporters:
“He was pathologically addicted to conquering women.” She wore parkas to his room for protection. “I always managed to say no,” she said. “On trips to Paris and Rome, ‘he would just hand out cash, which was your blood money,'” Perkins said. “You’d come home from trips with him with a weird comedown of guilt and relief that you’d survived.”
Perkins story is just one of many Kantor and Twohey describe in their new book. Rowena Chiu, another former assistant, talks about wearing two pairs of tights to a meeting for protection and still being harassed by Harvey.
Because of conversations with Bob Weinstein and Reiter, Kantor and Twohey reporters uncovered evidence of hush money payments and cover-up conducted by high-level executives. The book also recalls how Dean Baquet, New York Times executive editor, advised Kantor and Twohey that Weinstein might turn to “increasingly desperate practices,” to “assume you’re being followed,” and to “talk like every call is being taped.” And apparently as the publication date for the initial exposé drew closer, several of Weinstein’s lawyer tried to stall the investigation, asking for more and more time to respond.
Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Image via Vanity Fair
Kantor and Twohey’s stunning book describes their journey to bring the reprehensible behavior of one power-mad man to light. It’s definitely one of the most important and pertinent stories of the last few years, and to be able to hear about it from the reporters who first broke the story will no doubt be remarkable.
Featured Image Via Elle and Amazon