A just-released book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists who helped uncover Harvey Weinstein’s alleged predatory behavior is revealing new details about the disgraced film producer and his legal team’s efforts to discredit the women coming forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. She Said, by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of the New York Times, includes a memo Weinstein received from attorney Lisa Bloom, in which she shared her strategy for portraying accuser Rose McGowan as a “pathological liar.”
The memo sent by Bloom, a prominent civil rights attorney who worked as a legal adviser to Weinstein before stepping down in October 2017, has gone viral after journalist Yashar Ali posted it on Twitter. In it, Bloom outlines her suggestions for casting doubt on McGowan’s rape accusation while rehabilitating Weinstein’s image with women. These include befriending the former Charmed star in order to work out a deal; planting stories in the press that prey on the actress’s mental health and paint her as “unglued”; setting up a “Weinstein Foundation” to promote gender equality in Hollywood; and undercutting the allegations against him with a televised interview in which he discusses “evolving on women’s issues” without conceding guilt.
“This will be headline-grabbing if you express genuine contrition for anyone who hurt you, while emphasizing it was always adult consensual behavior,” the memo reads.
Elsewhere, Bloom tells Weinstein to “be the hero of your story, not the villain,” and touts her credentials as a civil rights attorney who has represented a number of women in high-profile sexual misconduct cases — experience she says she can use to undermine those making “nasty, unfounded, hurtful rumors.”
“I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them,” she writes. “They start out as impressive, bold women, but the more one presses for evidence, the weaknesses and lies are revealed.”
While McGowan has already called for Bloom to be disbarred, other prominent Hollywood figures are expressing their own outrage and disgust over the memo’s contents. Actresses Mandy Moore and Busy Philipps and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner Warren Leight were among those decrying the “horrifying” and “rage-inducing” document.
On Monday, Bloom was also called out by former client Kathy Griffin, who accused her of mishandling her case.
One day earlier, Bloom shared an apology on Twitter, noting that “I learn so much more from my mistakes than my successes.” Her message was met with fierce criticism from the likes of sisters Patricia and Rosanna Arquette — the latter being one of Weinstein’s many accusers.
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