Harvey Weinstein’s relationship with the Black Cube spy firm is currently under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office as the feds try to figure out if the Hollywood producer broke any laws through his efforts to quiet the sexual harassment allegations that came out against him, according to reports by the Wall Street Journal.
In a statement released Thursday by Weinstein’s attorney Benjamin Brafman, Brafman revealed that he had met with prosecutors to emphasize the legality in any action that Weinstein had taken. Brafman defended any measures undertaken by Weinstein as a reasonable defense against “reckless disregard for the truth” that had been exhibited by some of his accusers and that all of the interactions with the spy firm were monitored by lawyers “who would never have authorized illegal activity of any kind.”
“We met with the SDNY to demonstrate that Black Cube was retained and supervised by prominent lawyers both in New York and in L.A., who we believed would never have authorized illegal activity of any kind. Furthermore, we also made clear that the sole objective was to enable Mr. Weinstein to effectively defend himself through legal action from serious and patently false allegations. If anything, recent developments have demonstrated the reckless disregard for the truth by certain of the key figures, whose accusations fueled the Weinstein investigation.”
The U.S. Attorney’s office offered no comment on the investigation. The report revealed that the crux of the investigation focuses on Weinstein’s payments to the spy firm, which may break federal laws in regards to wire fraud. Weinstein’s hush money payments to his accusers will also be investigated.
Among the numerous investigations into Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct comes a new probe into the tactics he purportedly used to silence his accusers https://t.co/gXhuSH2fIX— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) September 7, 2018
In New York, Weinstein is currently facing six state charges, including the charges of rape and felony sexual assault. The latter charge carries a minimum 10-year sentence and a maximum of life in prison. Weinstein pleaded not guilty and denied all of the accusations. No date has been set for the trial. Weinstein is also under investigation for acts committed in Los Angeles and London.
Reports by the New Yorker in November 2017 reveal that Weinstein had sought out Black Cube, founded by former members of the Israeli secret service, to gather information on the women that had been making accusations, with reports singling out Rose McGowan as a specific target. The report received a comment from one of Weinstein’s lawyer David Boies, who referred to the involvement with the firm as a “mistake”.