Harvey Weinstein reportedly enlisted "army of spies" to silence accusers

Last Updated Nov 7, 2017 10:58 AM EST

A new report says Harvey Weinstein used a so-called "army of spies" to block the reporting of sexual misconduct allegations against him. The New Yorker reports the disgraced Hollywood producer used a team of lawyers, private investigators and former Israeli intelligence officers. According to the magazine, the goal was to subvert and intimidate his accusers.

In the fall of 2016, nearly a year before any allegations against Weinstein had surfaced, he allegedly initiated what The New Yorker calls a "concerted effort" to silence his accusers. The magazine claims Weinstein enlisted the help of the "army of spies" to track actresses and journalists attempting to publicize allegations against him.

The article describes tactics to allegedly gather information. In one example, a private investigator posed as a women's rights activist in a meeting with actress Rose McGowan. McGowan would later accuse Weinstein of rape.

The New Yorker says that investigator was an employee of Black Cube, an investigative firm run largely by former Israeli intelligence officers. The work by Black Cube was allegedly run through one of Weinstein's lawyers, high-powered attorney David Boies, who famously represented Al Gore in the 2000 Supreme Court election dispute. In a contract between Boies' law firm and Black Cube, the New Yorker report says it directed Black Cube to help expose "information that would stop the publication of a Times story about Weinstein's abuses."

Over a year-long period, Weinstein's team of investigators collected intelligence on dozens of people, including psychological profiles that the New Yorker says focused on personal or sexual histories.

Boies told The New Yorker, "We should not have been contracting with and paying investigators that we did not select and direct." Harvey Weinstein's spokesman said, "It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time."

In a statement, Black Cube told CBS News it's their "policy to never discuss its clients with any third party" and it "operates in full compliance with the law of any jurisdiction in which it operates."