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It Takes A Village

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Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey have a new book out about breaking the Weinstein story. This article about the book’s findings reminds us that a lot of work went into keeping an open secret covered up for so many years:

Allred’s daughter, the lawyer Lisa Bloom, a prominent victims’ rights attorney, was working behind the scenes with Mr. Weinstein — at a rate of $895 an hour — to quash the journalists’ investigation and thwart his accusers. In a confidential memo to Mr. Weinstein that Ms. Bloom wrote in December 2016, which is reproduced in “She Said,” she offered to help him damage the reputation of one of his accusers, Rose McGowan, and portrayed her background as a victims’s rights advocate as an asset.

“I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them,” Ms. Bloom wrote, before laying out a multistep playbook for how to intimidate accusers or paint them as liars. One of Ms. Bloom’s suggested tactics for undermining Ms. McGowan: “We can place an article re her becoming increasingly unglued, so that when someone Googles her this is what pops up and she’s discredited.”

Ms. Bloom accompanied Mr. Weinstein on a surprise visit to the Times the day before the initial article was published, to present the journalists with information intended to portray several accusers — including Ashley Judd, the first actress to go on the record — as unreliable and mentally unstable.

Ms. Bloom has said she was crossing sides to work for Weinstein to encourage him to apologize for his behavior. She later told the reporters that she “deeply regretted” representing him, which she said was a “colossal mistake.”

Another member of Mr. Weinstein’s legal team, the attorney David Boies, helped Mr. Weinstein evade scrutiny for his treatment of women over 15 years, working to halt reporting on the producer by news outlets, blocking the board of Mr. Weinstein’s company from reviewing his personnel file, and helping Mr. Weinstein execute a contract with Black Cube, an Israeli private investigations firm, that was promised a $300,000 bonus if it stopped the Times investigation. (Ronan Farrow, who published a separate Weinstein exposé in The New Yorker in October 2017, later broke the news of Black Cube’s work for Weinstein.) “She Said” reveals emails showing that during the time that Mr. Boies represented Mr. Weinstein, the two men discussed potential film roles for Mr. Boies’s daughter, an aspiring actress.

As I wrote recently, Boies was also one of the real villains of the Theranos scam:

When it was later revealed that Boies was complicit in the great Theranos tragedy, people were less surprised. He had already been exposed as one whose successes resulted, at least in part, not from thorough preparation and oratory skills, but from a willingness to intimidate and bend the rules. Theranos, which claimed to possess game-changing blood test technology, was eventually exposed as a gigantic fraud. Boies was a Theranos board member and stockholder. He was also, somehow, the company’s lawyer. This conflict of interest may have been the impetus for Boies’s aggressive and distasteful defense of the company. He worked to intimidate whistleblowers, running up their legal bills and threatening litigation, and acted in a manner that Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou, who exposed both Theranos and Boies, described as thuggish.

While engaging in this campaign to silence the Theranos whistleblowers, he privately wrote to the company that his work was putting him at “risk [of] being at the scene of a serious accident.” Yet, he remained on the company’s board until just before the Securities and Exchange Commission made public its allegations that Theranos perpetrated a $700 million fraud and endangered the health of its clients.

At this point in his career, Boies doesn’t need the money — he’s taken the working-full-time-to-pave-Lake-Tahoe-and-try-to-bankrupt-people-who-object route because that’s apparently what he wants to be doing. Which is the kind of thing that suits rich people who don’t want to be constrained by the rules fine.

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