Last Thursday, The New York Times released a report exposing the sexual dalliances of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The article, written by Jodi Kanton and Megan Twohey, alleges that Harvey Weinstein has more than a 30-year history of sexual misconduct, and has been paying off sexual harassment accusers for decades.
While the report was scathing, it left a nagging question. Why now? Kathy DeClesis, a former assistant to Weinstein’s brother Bob Weinstein, told The Times that Harvey Weinstein’s sexual proclivity “wasn’t a secret to the inner circle.” Others mentioned that Weinstein’s conduct was well known among the women who worked for him.Now, Sharon Waxman, a former reporter for The New York Times, says that she approached the paper in 2004 with evidence of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, but the story was scrapped amid pressure from Weinstein himself, as evidenced on Twitter.
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) October 9, 2017
Michael Calderone, a senior media reporter for Politico, tweeted a statement from Sharon Waxman where the reporter alleges that the “NYT withheld her reporting on Weinstein’s sexual misconduct back in 2004 amid pressure.”
“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 explains. “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.”
“But I had the facts, and this was The Times. Right?” Waxman questioned at the time.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein founded The Weinstein Company in 2004 after leaving Miramax Films, which they also founded. Harvey was fired from The Weinstein Company in the wake of the allegations, and many board members have since resigned.
In an article for The Wrap, Waxman explains how the mainstream media, including the supposedly upstanding New York Times, enabled Weinstein’s sexual misconduct by failing to report on the open secret.