The aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal continues with the New York Times firing the disgraced Hollywood producer’s lawyer David Boies who helped hire a private investigation firm to collect information about the women who accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct and reporters who were investigating his past.
According to a New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow, Boies helped Weinstein employ Black Cube, which is run mostly by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. He also hired Kroll, one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies. The New York Times has worked with Boies’s firm, Boies Schiller Flexner L.L.P., in three legal matters over the past 10 years, including one libel case. As a result, the newspaper released a statement in regards to his involvement in this private investigation.
“We learned today that the law firm of Boies Schiller and Flexner secretly worked to stop our reporting on Harvey Weinstein at the same time as the firm’s lawyers were representing us in other matters,” the statement read. “We consider this intolerable conduct, a grave betrayal of trust, and a breach of the basic professional standards that all lawyers are required to observe. It is inexcusable and we will be pursuing appropriate remedies.”
They added, “We never contemplated that the law firm would contract with an intelligence firm to conduct a secret spying operation aimed at our reporting and our reporters. Such an operation is reprehensible.”
In the New Yorker article, Boies confirmed that his firm paid Black Cube and Kroll and that the investigators sent him reports which he gave to Weinstein. Boies also signed the contract to attempt to uncover information that would block the New York Times story that ignited the Weinstein scandal.
In a statement, Boies said that Weinstein is no longer a client of his firm and that in the first half of 2017 he learned that the Times was “considering publishing a story alleging that many years ago Mr. Weinstein had raped an actress.”
Boies adds, “I regret having done this. It was a mistake to contract with, and pay on behalf of a client, investigators who we did not select and did not control. I would never knowingly participate in an effort to intimidate or silence women or anyone else, including the conduct described in the New Yorker article. That is not who I am.”