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Ronan Farrow said he was “threatened with a lawsuit personally by Mr. Weinstein” while working on his bombshell story that includes sexual assault allegations against the movie mogul.
And Farrow told Rachel Maddow Tuesday night that this was not an unusual occurrence.
“I will say that over many years, many news organizations have circled this story and faced a great deal of pressure in doing so,” Farrow told Maddow.
“There are now reports emerging about the kind of pressure news organizations have faced. That is real,” Farrow continued.
Farrow then discussed NBC’s decision to pass on his Weinstein story, and why he chose to bring it to The New Yorker.
Farrow, an NBC News freelancer and investigative journalist, spent months working on the story for NBC before he brought it to The New Yorker, he said.
And while an NBC network source told HuffPost that what Farrow had at NBC was “nowhere close to what ultimately ran in the NY Times or the New Yorker,” Farrow disagreed.
“I walked into the door at the New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public,” Farrow told Maddow. “In fact, there were multiple determinations at NBC that it was reportable,” Farrow continued.
You can watch Farrow discus his New Yorker article with Maddow here:
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 11, 2017
According to HuffPost, NBC had concerns about Farrow’s sourcing and ultimately gave him the go-ahead to bring his story elsewhere.
But despite NBC’s sourcing concerns, Farrow had already gotten his hands on audio of Weinstein admitting to groping model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez in 2015, while working on the report for the network, according to HuffPost.
Farrow had also arranged for eight interviews on camera with accusers while working on the report for NBC News, according to an industry insider that spoke to The Daily Beast. (In The New Yorker article, Farrow spoke to multiple women on the record about their alleged experiences with the producer, including Mira Sorvino and Asia Argento.)
NBC, however, said Farrow’s story was simply nowhere near as complete as the finished product The New Yorker ended up with, claiming Farrow didn’t have accusers willing to go on the record.
For weeks, Farrow and NBC producer Rich McHugh’s sources and scripts were subjected to intense rounds of fact-checking, and legal reviews at NBC News, according to The Daily Beast. But in the end, NBC was unsatisfied with the material and interviews procured by Farrow and McHugh.
What’s clear is that Farrow and NBC have distinctly different takes on why the network choose to pass on his Weinstein story.