Harvey Weinstein threatened to expose Matt Lauer in 2017 if NBC didn't kill misconduct story: Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow was a guest on Katie Couric's podcast to promote his new book Catch and Kill where he further discussed the troubling workplace culture at NBC and the outside forces that apparently influenced the news organization. On Next Question with Katie Couric, Farrow explained how he started working on his exposé about Harvey Weinstein for NBC News but was "ordered to stop under suspicious circumstances." (He eventually published his Pulitzer Prize-winning article in the New Yorker.) Couric, who spent nearly two decades at the network where she worked alongside Matt Lauer, didn't share any personal stories of her time at NBC and stuck to asking questions.

"Let’s talk about the relationship, the connection between Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer," Couric said. "Explain the evidence you have that Harvey Weinstein was working with the tabloids, specifically the National Enquirer, to exert pressure on NBC not to go with this story about him. What was he using as leverage and what evidence do you have of that?"

"It is indisputable that Harvey Weinstein had a deal with the National Enquirer," Farrow replied, citing his previous reporting. "That [Harvey] was huddled with Dylan Howard, the top editor at the National Enquirer, and Dylan Howard was being used as an attack mechanism and secretly recording people on Harvey Weinstein's behalf and running items on Harvey Weinstein's behalf. It's also indisputable that those items included an escalating chain of stories about Matt Lauer."

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Ronan Farrow out and about
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Ronan Farrow out and about
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 13: Journalist Ronan Farrow attends the 2019 Mirror Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: Ronan Farrow poses in the Press Room at the 78th Annual Peabody Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on May 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 18: Ronan Farrow attends the 78th Annual Peabody Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on May 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage,)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 18: Ronan Farrow attends the 78th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony Sponsored By Mercedes-Benz at Cipriani Wall Street on May 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Peabody)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Journalist Ronan Farrow attends "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" U.S. Premiere at Times Square on May 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Ronan Farrow attends the 2019 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 23: Ronan Farrow, Unjin Lee, and Mia Farrow attend the Time 100 Gala 2019 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Actress Mia Farrow and her son journalist Ronan Farrow arrive on the red carpet for the Time 100 Gala at the Lincoln Center in New York on April 23, 2019. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 24: Ronan Farrow attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Ronan Farrow attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Ronan Farrow speaks onstage at ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Hearts On Fire and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Mia Farrow (L) and Ronan Farrow attend ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Hearts On Fire and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine)
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The stories American Media Inc. (AMI) had gathered about Lauer were allegedly about the broadcaster's affairs and misconduct in the office.

"Items about things like 'NBC executives getting fed up with [Matt's] misconduct around the workplace,'" Farrow said, explaining Lauer's behavior was "an area of focus for [AMI]."

"We also uncover in the reporting in this book that the National Enquirer was among the first to obtain the resume of Brooke Nevils, the woman who ultimately got Matt Lauer fired," Farrow added. "They had pursued Matt Lauer's accusers for years."

As Farrow was working on his Weinstein story in 2017, he alleges Howard simultaneously pulled out their Lauer "kill file" and threatened NBC with releasing damaging stories about the network and their morning star.

The "kill file" consists of "stories that they've gotten rid of about Matt Lauer," Farrow clarified. He said Howard "begins besieging NBC and his reporters begin besieging NBC with calls about Matt Lauer. "

"A threat was explicitly delivered here," Farrow declared. (NBC has denied any such threat was delivered.) "There is an indisputable juxtaposition of a situation where Harvey Weinstein was laying siege to [NBC] and this organization's secrets were very much under threat of exposure."

Couric asked how the threat was explicitly delivered to NBC.

"I'll leave it at the exact, precise reporting in the book," Farrow replied. "But there are multiple sources at both at NBC and at AMI who say that that's the case."

Howard, who is Australian, has called the claims defamatory and is attempting (somewhat successfully) to keep the book out of stores in Australia. He is now a top executive with AMI.

In the book, Farrow also details AMI and Howard's close relationship with President Trump and how the company used the "catch and kill" method to protect him during his run for president. The company apparently tried to help Trump bury allegations he raped a teenager in 1994, an accusation the president has called "categorically untrue." According to Newsweek, Farrow alleges Howard assured Trump's then-personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, "that they would track down the woman with the rape allegation and see what they could do about her." (An AMI spokesperson said Tuesday that Farrow's claims are "completely untrue.")

Farrow's Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators is out now.

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Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
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Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
Kadian Noble, has filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein in New York federal court accusing the movie producer of sex trafficking by inviting her to a hotel room in France and sexually assaulting her.
Paz de la Huerta, who stars on HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire,' claims Harvey Weinstein raped her on two separate occasions in 2010: "I was in no state. I was so terrified of him," she told Vanity Fair. "I did say no, and when he was on top of me, I said, 'I don't want to do this' ... It was disgusting. He's like a pig."
British actress Lysette Anthony has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her in her home in the late 1980s.
Amber Anderson said Harvey Weinstein 'behaved inappropriately' and bragged about other actresses he had 'helped' in exchange for sexual favors.
Natassia Malthe has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel room. On a separate occasion, after she was assured that Weinstein would not come onto her, she was allegedly escorted to Weinstein's hotel room by an assistant. In the room was another woman, who performed oral sex on Weinstein whil he asked Malthe to join.
Lupita Nyong'o wrote a detailed essay for the New York Times recounting multiple incidents with Weinstein, including an evening during which he asked her to give him a nude massage while his family was in the same home.
Marisa Coughlan said that she planned to meet Weinstein for a meeting at his hotel. Instead, he requested a massage.

Heather Graham said Weinstein told her he had an agreement with his wife that allowed him to sleep with whomever he wants. He then asked him to meet her to discuss a film project at his hotel, falsely telling her that her friend would also be present. She declined.

French actress Judith Godreche has accused Weinstein of inappropriately pressing up against her, trying to remove her sweater and asking for a massage.

Lauren Holly said that during a seemingly normal meeting with Weinstein to discuss a project, he began disrobing, got into the shower, and went to the bathroom while continuing to converse with her. He then allegedly asked her for a massage. She fled. 
Angie Everhart said that she was sleeping in her own cabin on a yacht when Harvey Weinstein entered, blocked the door and began masturbating. He told her not to tell anyone, but she "told everyone," including many actors and producers. In response, most told her that it was just Harvey being Harvey. In an interview with TMZ, she emphasized that anyone in the industry who knew Harvey at all knew that he regularly did things like what he allegedly did to her.
Kate Beckinsale has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in his hotel room when she was 17 years old.
Tara Subkoff said that in the 1990s, on the same day that she was offered a major movie role, she met Harvey Weinstein at a party. He allegedly made her sit on his lap while he had an erection. He then told her that if he did not do certain sexual things, she would not get the role that she'd already been offered. She declined. Afterward, she said, her "reputation was ruined by false gossip" and she found it near impossible to book roles.
Minka Kelly said that Harvey Weinstein offered her a lavish lifestyle in exchange for being his extramarital girlfriend. She declined.
Gwyneth Paltrow told the New York Times that Harvey Weinstein asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. After she told then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, Pitt confronted him, leading Weinstein to contact Paltrow and "scream" at her, she said.
Asia Argento has accused Weinstein of raping her in his hotel room when she was 21. She first reluctantly agreed to give him a massage, and then he forcibly performed oral sex on her. During subsequent encounters, she had consensual sexual relations with him due to fear that he would otherwise ruin her career.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. In October 2016, she tweeted reference to a studio head raping her. In October 2017, in a tweet to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, McGowan referred to Weinstein by name while repeating her rape accusation. The alleged incident took place in the 1990s and resulted in a financial settlement.
Cara Delevingne has accused Harvey Weinstein of attempting to coerce her into kissing another woman in his hotel room. She had just begun her acting career and believed they were meeting just to finalize talks for a film role.
Angelina Jolie said she had a "bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth" and refused to work with him subsequently.
Jessica Barth has accused Harvey Weinstein of demanding that she get naked and give him a massage.
Emma de Caunes has accused Harvey Weinstein of unexpectedly getting naked and demanding that she lie down as other women had supposedly done before her.
Lauren Sivan has accused Harvey Weinstein of cornering her in a public space and masturbating to completion in front of her.
Mira Sorvino, seen here at a Weinstein Co. event in January 2017, said that after refusing Harvey Weinstein's advances, he dissuaded others in the industry from hiring her.
Ambra Battilana has accused Harvey Weinstein of groping her breasts and reaching under her skirt. She went to the NYPD and then conducted a sting operation, the audio of which was published by the New Yorker. In the audio, Weinstein can be heard attempting to coerce her to enter his hotel room.
Louisette Geiss has accused Harvey Weinstein of luring her to his hotel room after assuring her he wouldn't hit on her. He then disrobed and repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate, telling her he would produce her screenplay if she did.
Emily Nestor (far right), a former Weinstein Co. employee, has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
Rosanna Arquette has accused Harvey Weinstein of dissuading others from hiring her after she rejected his sexual advances.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. She has also accused others in the industry of knowing of Weinstein's misconduct and either actively or passively hiding it.
Ashley Judd has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of asking her for a massage and then asking her to watch him shower.
Florence Darel has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in a hotel suite in 1996 while his wife was in the room next door.
Zoe Brock (left, in 2004) has accused Weinstein of getting naked and chasing her around a hotel room after she refused to give him a massage.
Katherine Kendall (right, in 2006) has accused Harvey Weinstein of disrobing and asking for a massage in his apartment after a movie screening, telling her that "everybody does it." He then asked her to at least show him her breasts, which she refused.
Romola Garai has accused Harvey Weinstein of making her feel "violated" when he watched her audition wearing only a bathrobe in his hotel room.
Lea Seydoux has accused Harvey Weinstein of forcibly trying to kiss her on the lips in 2012.
Claire Forlani said she "escaped" Harvey Weinstein on five occasions. He allegedly told her about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had in turn established their careers. He also attempted to get her to give him a massage.
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