In May this year, Rose McGowan reportedly received an email from a woman who introduced herself as Diana Filip.
According to The New Yorker, Diana wrote to the actress, saying she was the deputy head of a department at Reuben Capital Partners, a London-based wealth-management firm. She told McGowan she was spearheading a movement within the company to champion women in the workplace and combat discrimination against women at work.
“I understand that we have a lot in common,” Filip reportedly wrote to McGowan.
The duo first met in May in Beverley Hills. Over following few months, they met at least three more times in Los Angeles and New York. In one of these occasions, they ate ice cream as they walked along the Venice board walk.
In having conversations about female empowerment, Filip eventually learned McGowan had spoken to journalist Ronan Farrow for his expose on Harvey Weinstein for The New Yorker. It’s understood that at each of their meetings, Filip would press McGowan for information: about her allegations regarding Harvey Weinstein and her intention to go public, all under the guise of having conversations about women supporting women.
But Diana Filip wasn’t Diana Filip at all.
LISTEN: The Mamamia Out Loud team deep-dive everything to do with the Weinstein saga.
Diana Filip was actually an alias for a woman working as a private investigator for Black Cube, an intelligence agency made up of a “select group of elite Israeli intelligence community”. The firm is comprised, mostly, of ex-Mossad agents. Mossad – the national intelligence agency of Israel – have, in the past, been responsible for assassinations and abductions on an international stage.
It’s this firm, Ronan Farrow reports for The New Yorker in an explosive new piece, that film executive Harvey Weinstein hired as a means of discrediting the women and the journalists who had begun digging into the dirty allegations that shroud his past.
In fact, Black Cube is one of a handful of intelligence agencies Weinstein hired upon learning of investigations set to be published in the New York Times, The New Yorker and New York magazine. Farrow reports Weinstein used the agencies to track both actresses and journalists, with some, in McGowan’s case, posing as women’s rights advocates to meet with his accusers and extract information.
It’s another cog – another report – in a powerful machine that is Harvey Weinstein and his power that illustrates, once more, why it took 30 years for allegations of sexual misconduct to surface.
Harvey Weinstein, The New Yorker reports, had an "army of spies" ready to pounce on those willing to point fingers.
One of these spies, it has since been claimed, was a former Australian and Channel Seven journalist by the name of Dylan Howard who, as chief content officer at American Media Inc, shared information with Weinstein obtained by one of his reporters. It was information that formed part of a plan, the news outlet reports, to "disprove [Rose] McGowan's allegation of rape".
As part of their investigations, some of these firms would reportedly produce detailed profiles of various individuals in the saga, sometimes of a "personal nature". All were designed to undermine credibility.
As Farrow reports:
One report on McGowan... ran for more than a hundred pages and featured McGowan’s address and other personal information, along with sections labelled “Lies/Exaggerations/Contradictions,” “Hypocrisy,” and “Potential Negative Character Wits,” an apparent abbreviation of “witnesses.” One subhead read “Past Lovers.” The section included details of acrimonious breakups... and discussed Facebook posts expressing negative sentiments about McGowan.
But it wasn't just the Weinstein accusers who were being followed to some degree, but journalists, too. Farrow reports one firm profiled New York magazine journalist Ben Wallace's ex-wife, who was noted as someone who might be "relevant to considerations of [their] response strategy" when the piece went live. Wallace's piece was never published.
So, for those wondering why it took three decades for the allegations levelled at Harvey Weinstein to be made public, our answer has never been clearer.
Because when an alleged abuser has deep pockets and a penchant for the hiring of spies, the power imbalance is overwhelming. Like a see-saw ready to buck journalists and accusers from their footing on the other end of the stick.
To read Ronan Farrow's full piece on The New Yorker, click here.