Rose McGowan, Asia Argento respond to report of Weinstein's "army of spies"

Harvey Weinstein's "spies"?

After a new report dropped that says Harvey Weinstein used a so-called "army of spies" to try to block the reporting of sexual misconduct allegations against him, stars who've accused Weinstein of assault are speaking out. Rose McGowan, who is a central figure in The New Yorker story, praised the journalist who wrote the article, Ronan Farrow. The report says Weinstein used a team of lawyers and private investigators, including former Israeli intelligence officers, to subvert and intimidate his accusers. 

In the fall of 2016, nearly a year before The New Yorker and The New York Times first broke the news of allegations against Weinstein, he allegedly initiated what The New Yorker calls a "concerted effort" to silence his accusers. The magazine reports that Weinstein, through his legal team, hired investigators to secretly track actresses and journalists who were working on exposing him, and to gather information on their personal histories that Weinstein might be able to use against them.

McGowan tweeted, "Ronan Farrow your words will line the halls of justice ... and you thought investigative journalism was dead. No. This is the crescendo in the aria." 

McGowan has emerged as one of the most vocal in Hollywood about sexual abuse and harassment in the industry. She wrote on Oct. 12 on Twitter that Weinstein raped her. 

The New York Times earlier reported that Weinstein paid a financial settlement of $100,000 to McGowan in 1997 over an incident in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. The Times reported Weinstein's settlement with McGowan included provisions against speaking about the case in the future, but when other accusers spoke to The New York Times about Weinstein's misconduct, McGowan tweeted about the story afterward and condemned Weinstein and his allies on Twitter for days, until she came forward and wrote, "HW raped me." 

In a statement, Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister said "any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

Later in October, McGowan spoke at The Women's Convention in Detroit and said, "I have been silenced for 20 years. I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I have been maligned and you know what? I'm just like you. Because what happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in society and it cannot stand and it will not stand." She urged women to speak up about their experiences. 

Italian actress Asia Argento, who told The New Yorker that Harvey Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her after she repeatedly said no in 1997, tweeted about the "army of spies" story and said, "Why didn't I, @rosemcgowan@RoArquette @AnnabellSciorra spoke up earlier? We were followed by ex-Mossad agents. Isn't that terrifying? Very."

Other celebrities, including Rosie O'Donnell and McGowan's former "Charmed" co-star Holly Marie Combs responded to the article on Twitter. 

The article describes tactics that were allegedly used to gather information from Weinstein's accusers. In one example, a private investigator posed as a women's rights activist in a meeting with McGowan. 

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 reportedly run through one of Weinstein's lawyers, high-powered attorney David Boies, who famously represented Al Gore in the 2000 Supreme Court election dispute and the 2013 case that established marriage equality. According to the report, a contract between Boies' law firm and Black Cube 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 reportedly 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."