×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ronan Farrow on Harvey Weinstein Story: ‘I Was Threatened With a Lawsuit’

Ronan Farrow didn’t break the first story of shocking allegations about movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, but his New Yorker piece published Tuesday has added a new sordid dimension to the scandal. Farrow discussed his story Tuesday evening on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and there’s good reason: He started the story under NBC’s auspices.

Asked why the story ran in the New Yorker rather than on NBC, Farrow told Maddow, “You would have to ask NBC and NBC executives about the details.”

“I will say that over many years, many news organizations have circled this story and faced a great deal of pressure in doing so,” he continued. “There are now reports emerging about the kind of pressure news organizations have faced. That is real. And in the course of this reporting, I was threatened with a lawsuit personally by Mr. Weinstein.”

He also challenged NBC’s statement that the version of the story they saw wasn’t publishable. “I walked into the door at the New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public,” he said. “Immediately the New Yorker recognized that and it was not accurate to say that it was not reportable. In fact, there were multiple determinations at NBC that it was reportable.”

Farrow, who joined NBCUniversal in 2014 as a host on MSNBC, currently works as a freelancer for NBC News, and had been investigating sexual-harassment allegations against Weinstein for ten months. But when he brought early reporting on the subject to NBC News executives, “he didn’t have one accuser willing to go on the record or identify themselves,” according to one person familiar with the situation. The New Yorker story is”radically different” from the material that was brought to NBC News, this person said.

Another person familiar with the process, however, suggested Farrow did have strong material. This person said three women were named in Farrow’s reporting for NBC News. This person did not speculate as to why the story did not move forward at NBC News.

Farrow’s New Yorker piece includes harrowing descriptions of Weinstein’s behavior from women including Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette and Mira Sorvino. Weinstein was fired by the board of the Weinstein Company on Sunday, in the wake of allegations revealed in the New York Times that he had been harassing women for many years.

Ronan Farrow, who is the son of Mia Farrow and is estranged from his father Woody Allen, has gone on record supporting his sister Dylan Farrow’s accusations of improper behavior by their father.

Farrow asked NBC News if he could bring his work to a print outlet, this person said, thinking that sources might be more willing to cooperate if they did not have to go on camera. NBC News agreed, according to the source, with the understanding that if he got the story published he would come back and talk about it for NBC outlets.  But he’s also appearing elsewhere: Farrow is doing a segment with ABC News’ Juju Chang on tonight’s broadcast of ABC’s “Nightline.”

UPDATED 6:50pm

More TV

  • UFC 235 Mixed Martial Arts, Las

    All UFC Pay-Per-View Events Moving to ESPN+ in U.S. Through 2025

    The UFC — in an major jump to digital away from traditional pay TV — inked an expanded pact with ESPN under which all of the mixed martial arts promoter’s pay-per-view events will be available exclusively on ESPN+ in the U.S. for the next seven years. Under the agreement, the ESPN+ subscription streaming service will [...]

  • Pretty Little Liars the Perfectionists Review

    TV Review: 'Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists' on Freeform

    Nearly every scene in “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists” tells one specific story: This is a series that very much wants to be “Pretty Little Liars: All Grown Up.” It’s an interesting choice for a spinoff, considering the fact that the final season and a half of “Pretty Little Liars” featured a five-year time jump [...]

  • iPhone 7 Tim Cook

    Apple’s Video Streaming Plans: Key Open Questions

    Apple is expected to give a glimpse of its upcoming video streaming service at an event on its Cupertino, California-based campus on March 25. Reports over the past year have trickled out hinting at what an Apple streaming service could look like, but the company itself has been tight-lipped on divulging details. The streaming product [...]

  • HBO logo

    Amid Exits at HBO, Global Distribution Head Bernadette Aulestia Resigns

    HBO’s head of global distribution Bernadette Aulestia is resigning after 22 years, the premium cabler has confirmed to Variety, though she will remain at the company long enough to help her team through the transition to new leadership under WarnerMedia’s newly appointed chief revenue officer Gerhard Zeiler. Aulestia’s exit follows several others as parent entity [...]

  • Miranda Richardson

    'Game of Thrones' Prequel Pilot Adds Miranda Richardson to Cast

    HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel pilot has cast Miranda Richardson as a series regular in the hotly anticipated yet-untitled series. Richardson, a BAFTA- and Golden Globes-winning actor, joins Naomi Watts, Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackle, Denise Gough and others on the series created by Jane Goldman and “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin. Goldman will [...]

  • Ryan Hansen

    Ryan Hansen to Play Adam in Fox ‘Adam & Eve’ Pilot

    “Veronica Mars” star Ryan Hansen has been cast to play the Adam to Odette Annable’s Eve in the upcoming “Adam & Eve” pilot in the works at Fox, Variety has learned. The singe-camera comedy is based on the French-Canadian format of the same name. The series follows one couple at three stages of their relationship — [...]

  • Anders Holm and Tika Sumpter

    Anders Holm and Tika Sumpter Cast in 'Black-ish' Spinoff Episode

    Tika Sumpter and Anders Holm are joining the growing “Black-ish” world, Variety has learned. They will both star in the upcoming prequel episode, which could reportedly launch into its own spinoff series. As earlier reported, ABC is in development on the prequel that would focus on Tracee Ellis Ross’ character Rainbow. Holm will play Paul, Rainbow’s father, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content