Report Details Weinstein’s Covert Attempt to Halt Publication of Accusations

Nov 07, 2017 · 246 comments
DSS (Ottawa)
If you treat someone with respect, there is no need for rules of engagement.
countererrorist1 (DC)
I would be very interested to know who else employs Black Cube, Kroll, PSOPS, and other such firms (and for "firms" read "nests of soulless vipers"). What other individuals and corporate entities are named on their past and current client lists? Black Cube claims to operate entirely within the law, but just how immoral must a man or woman be to willingly put a blunt instrument or sharpened knife into the hand of someone who clearly means to use it on a person they have a l r e a d y victimized? --And to do it for money, no less! How far must "the law" diverge from a shared moral standard--assuming that such a thing still exists--before society must abandon the notion that what is legal is, by definition, ethical and moral? That particular horse is now so far down the road that even thinking about closing the barn door seems foolish indeed. And the idea that people with every advantage of education, wealth, and opportunity to pursue happiness can be so utterly depraved is deeply discouraging. But truth _will_ out, and the courageous people who have spoken their painful truth--as well as Ronan Farrow, Jodi Kantor, and brave members of the press who have reported it--deserve our thanks. They are standing against violence, against deceit, and for justice. God bless them.
Dean (US)
The contract Boies signed clearly stated its intention to "completely stop" publication of an article in a "leading NY Newspaper." Umm, if you are a lawyer and you represent a "leading NY newspaper", you owe it to your client to ask more questions and offer that client the opportunity to consent OR NOT to a conflicting representation. This is basic Legal Ethics 101, taught to first-year law students at many schools. Boies' lucrative, personal financial ties to the Weinsteins clearly motivated him to turn a blind eye to the conflict here and deny his client, The New York Times, the information needed to make an informed consent to a specific conflict of interest. He should face state bar discipline, at a minimum. And caveat emptor to his law firm's clients, current and future.
Malcolm John Jenkins (Canada)
The rooster and the lawyer spring to mind. The rooster clucks defiance.
Alison (Menlo Park, California)
More important: why isn’t the Times investigating film director James ago Ck who has been prowling Manhattan streets for the last 50 years and to date has more than 300 sexual assault victims? Many were assaulted at the Harvard Club on West 44th. Toback is being investigated by both LAPD and the NYPD. In NY the detectives on Toback case are the same ones who are investigating Weinstein
Donald R (nyc)
I find Mr. Boies ethics and morals at the lowest level of compromise. He would have served as a perfect Attorney General for the violent and utterly Pinochet puppet regime in Chile. Imagine, a woman(in the case of Harvey Weinstein numerous women!) have been Raped by Weinstein: Boies hires a group of false black operatives to suppress the truth and malign Weinstein's victims. The New York Times also had hired Boies to uphold Truth. I feel strongly that Boies and his team should be summarily Disbarred and forbidden from practising " law" from hereon. The Victims of Weinstein are also now the Victims of David Boise and Associates.
midwesterner (illinois)
Don't law firms have entire departments that review their attorneys' potential clients and cases for conflict of interest proactively? Hard to believe Boies when he says he didn't think representing the Times and undermining the Times for Weinstein was a conflict.
Oh my (Merrimack NH)
David Boies should be disbarred, removed from his firm, and held in contempt by colleagues and the public. His oily self-excusing statements about not hiring and directing the investigators himself reveal the gap in his ethics: collecting no doubt high fees from Weinstein to undercut the integrity of another client. He is a hired gun from the upper echelons of the swamp. May his name and reputation live in the abundant shame he earned so cleverly. $1,000 per hour, is it? TRUST this man to be honest? Hearty congratulations to the reporters for the NYT and the New Yorker. You do your professions proud, the exact opposite of Boies. Somehow I fear Boies will skillfully dissemble, evade, misdirect, and escape any consequences for his dishonorable conduct. But just maybe, what goes around comes around this time.
Sandra Campbell (DC)
Sallie Hofmeister seems to be an expert at lying. She should be blacklisted. Do we really want to allow Mossad-trained agents to work to prevent rapists from being brought to justice in this country--is this what Mossad gives us? This story needs broader coverage--this is eye-opening. Israeli Americans working to demonize rape victims and intimidate journalists, a famous firm of greedy lawyers working for and against their clients at the same time--this needs TV coverage, and lots of it!
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
On further thought, the conflict of interest rules probably did not bar Boies from advising Weinstein. The supposed conflict arises out of Boies' representation of the Times in an unrelated libel case. Clearly, Boies could not represent both Weinstein and the Times in this matter. He could not simultaneously represent both Weinstein and McGowan in this matter. But would his representation of the Times in a dispute with unionized employees at a Secaucus warehouse preclude it? I doubt it. Would representation of the Times in an unrelated trademark infringement action preclude it? Probably not. Especially if the prior representation occurred 10 years ago. I think, however, that the comparatively small size of Boies firm would preclude establishing what used to be called (in less sensitive times) a "Chinese wall" within the firm. At the least, Boies should have gotten an informed, written waiver from both parties.
DLNYC (New York)
Lawyers represent all sorts of people. I applaud him for some of his work. David Boise has represented CBS in the action brought by General William Westmoreland, Michael Moore, Al Gore (not successfully), the coalition fighting the anti-marriage equality California Proposition 8. He assisted the U.S. Government in their monopoly case against Microsoft, and also against Medco Health Solutions for switching patient's prescriptions for "rebates" from preferred pharmaceutical manufacturers. On the other hand he's represented some of the most notorious villains of the modern era, including Andrew Fastow of Enron, Maurice R. Greenberg of A.I.G, Gary Jackson of Blackwater, and three tobacco companies, Philip Morris USA Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Liggett Group LLC. That's what lawyers do. Everyone is entitled to a defense. However, in his representation of Weinstein, if it is shown that he was part of a criminal enterprise to intimidate and threaten people who wanted to report criminal activity - and we will leave that determination to investigative journalists and ultimately law enforcement - that's not what lawyers should do.
Kathy (Oxford)
All this financial activity over years to stop allegations about Mr. Weinstein being made public and the BOD says they had no idea? It's unlikely he used personal money and even minor oversight into the spending would uncover the purpose. That is the Board's job to know where the money goes. Many liars contributed to his appalling behavior and totally explains how he got away with it for so long. As long as he was making money they pretended not to notice. I would hope all of them have long conversations with their wives and daughters and sisters to know the harm they have perpetrated. The New York Times and The New Yorker deserve so much credit for pursuing when others faltered.
PAN (NC)
Just as the nation entered the dark age of trump with the assistance of Unregistered Foreign Agents on behalf of tyrants, we also have Unregistered Foreign Agents from Israel aiding rapists and two timing law firms biting the hand that feeds it and pleading ignorance! Lawyers undermining their own client's business on behalf of another client. Really? Even worse - to undermine that client - the New York Times - on behalf of a serial rapist!!! The NYT needs and in depth investigative report on its own lawyers! Can't trust no one.
Ken (Rancho Mirage)
David Boies not the pillar of integrity that we have been led to believe? Let the Weinsteining begin! Who are the other prominent lawyers to shame?
MDB (Indiana)
Only one word for Weinstein: Diabolical. To go to such lengths shows true criminal intent that goes beyond “sickness” or “weakness” or whatever excuse he used when he finally got caught. Here is hoping prosecutors can get enough evidence to make charges stick. He needs to be off the streets and behind bars. Will we ever know just how many women Weinstein preyed upon? Is it any wonder why some choose to remain silent?
TJ (NYC)
I'm thinking it's about time for the Times to shift legal firms. If I were Ms. Kantor, i would not accept anything less. Despicable. Despicable!
Bobbie (Silver Spring MD)
One of Boies partners is someone known to me from his time in Washington DC. Maybe Mr Boies was unaware of this guy's predilection for the young ladies (he was married and had a family). I was young, recently single, and met him at a Giant food store in northwest DC when his family was summering at the family compound in Canada. You fill in the script... "come over and have breakfast with me." Maybe he's changed, but I wonder what standards were applied (wink, wink) in the hiring.
Nancy Rockford (Illinois)
It will be good to see him locked up, and his millions dispersed among his victims. The list of which is nearly up to 80.
Arya (Winterfell)
I’m glad Weinstein will have to meet justice. NOW, though, why isn’t this paper and every other one writing the same articles about Trump’s victims - every single day? What did he do to quiet his accusers? My guess nothing much different.
Iver Thompson (Pasadena, CA)
If plotting entails a conference call with lawyers . . . Lock em all up.
Munrovian (Wenham, MA)
Boies' law firm paid $100,000 - of a promised $600,000 - up front to Black Cube in October of 2016 to dig up dirt on Weinstein's accusers, and to protect Black Cube's dirty dealings with Weinstein by claiming attorney/client privilege. That is as low down lowlife as you can get. And Boies can not even come up with a decent apology? How corruptible are these people? It's despicable.
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
Retention of the privilege on these facts is nowhere near as simple as you make it out to be.
g.i. (l.a.)
Not surprising that Weinstein did that and so did Cosby and probably Trump, and the two Fox fools. They see themselves as victims and not predators. Their is a sense of entitlement because they are very powerful men. Everything is consensual and not rape. They hide behind their lawyers thinking that money will save them from their accusers. Then when caught they go to rehab and want the public to think they are reformed. Like the sketchy and tawdry lives they live, they are con men. The scum of the earth. They should rot in prison instead of some $30000 a month luxury resort in Arizona.
sleeve (West Chester PA)
This sounds like a violation of RICO statutes which I hope NYT and New Yorker aggressively pursue. Weinstein and his "Israeli elites units" are mobsters, plain and simple. Women have endured abuse from predators like Weinstein forever and we are sick and disgusted by their ability to wrap the criminal justice system around their pinkies, a system composed predominantly by...you guessed it, white men.
Psyfly John (san diego)
I really wonder if he has resorted to assassinations to shut up accusers. Perhaps "accidental deaths" of his victims should be examined.
HK (Los Angeles)
As a member of the motion picture community, I, like many others, had heard the stories of Weinstein as a bully and a womanizer. And I had heard first hand stories concerning the behavior of Spacey and Hoffmann that made me cringe. Now I'm waiting for the other names that we in Hollywood have heard over the years to come spilling out. None of us below the line crew members had the clout or position to sever professional and personal ties and make a strong statement, but plenty of above the liners could have. But this new layer of complicity, veneered with the air of legal and investigative "professionalism" and attorney/client privilege to include the likes of David Boies is stunning. I hope The Times severs its relationship with Boies and his firm and other corporations and high profile clients follow. And how about outing the top brass at Black Cube and printing the picture of their female agent who so cleverly and deceitfully gained the trust of Rose McGowan? All to protect and enable a serial sexual predator. Truly disgusting.
Tony (New York)
Maybe it will turn out that Weinstein has Bubba on retainer to help him navigate the process of sliming potential accusers. I just wonder Lanny Davis resigned from Weinstein's camp. Can it be that Weinstein treated women worse than Bubba?
Fruminous Bandersnatch (New York)
I thought so much more of the Mossad. Reuben Capital? Reads a bit like Manischewitz Partners or Oy Vey Ventures.
JS (NY)
I see that Boies represented Gore in the 2000 election dispute. I wonder if he's also the attorney who made the sexual abuse allegations against Gore disappear.
c (ny)
the oldest trick in the book - when accused (and you know you are guilty as charged) deflect, besmirch, distract. That lawyers (lawyers!) actually draw up contracts to enable unethical conduct is beyond the pale. I understand lawyers need not agree or condone behavior, as in defending criminals, but can refuse clients, can't they?
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
Their latitude to refuse clients is beginning to be circumscribed by public policy. For example, it is now a reason for discipline (up to and including disbarment) to refuse a client on the basis of race. Is Weinstein to be denied top flight counsel merely because he's a sleaze? Say goodbye to representation for Mafiosi (maybe not a bad thing) and terrorists of all persuasions.
ERIC STARKMAN (LOS ANGELES)
In an ideal and just world, the New York Times wouldn’t be the only corporate client terminating their relationship with David Boies and his law firm. It would behoove the Times to call Boies’ corporate clients for comment. Boies perhaps is a brilliant attorney, but he clearly has no ethics or moral compass. And his lame lawyerly defense of his actions in the New Yorker makes clear that he isn’t all that bright when arguing in the court of public opinion.
Pilot (Denton, Texas)
Eventually, the planet will recognize that the entire industry and people and culture (and we all know the ideology of a majority of the people that try to control the content) is a sewer and there will be no place for these rats to hide anymore.
Jules (California)
Here is the Weinstein spokeswoman's quote from the New Yorker piece: “It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.” Lie and deny in the face of factual evidence. The woman sounds just like Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
paul (st. louis)
No wonder women are reluctant to report these crimes. This is creepy.
T Montoya (ABQ)
At the very least the Times should file a complaint with the NY Bar Association with respect to Boies' actions. If they really want to make a statement they could ask for him to be disbarred. That might be extreme and probably wouldn't be successful but it would show they are serious about "...intolerable conduct, a grave betrayal of trust, and a breach of the basic professional standards..."
AccordianMan (Lefty NYC)
I am of the opinion that a man can nicely/respectfully "hit" on a woman. If she's not interested - STOP. No exceptions.
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
The old rules. It used to be that harassment required a pattern of conduct. But now, a woman is accusing the Most Reverend Jesse Jackson of harassment for a one-off incident.
Jennifer (Salt Lake City)
Jesse Jackson has faced a number of these accusations in the past, enough to suggest a pattern of conduct.
Jan (Milwaukee)
David Boise and others in his firm are complicit in crimes. They are despicable, awful people.
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
He's not from Idaho. When calling people despicable and awful, take care not to look uneducated.
Andrew (NYC)
Harvey Weinstein is universally condemned in the court of public opinion. Women who have come forward with credible accounts of unacceptable sexual assault deserve our compassion amd support but we must not forget the presumption of innocence, even in cases like this with a highly unpopular defendant. If a case goes to court and Weinstein is condemned, it would be fitting to call him a total disgrace and horrible sleazball.
JCMcP (New York, New York)
David Boies helped a criminal hide his crimes? Depressing and outrageous, if not witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Boies will say that he didn't know and believed Harvey was being shaken down. Except that others surely told him differently.
George Moseley (Cambridge)
"The newspaper (New York Times) released a stern statement on Monday night..." A "stern" statement? Does it occur to you that this weak response encourages sexual harassers and discourages those who might report sexual harassment?
TJ (NYC)
I know, right? Right up there with "a sharply worded memo". Quit with the talking, NYT! Take ACTION!
Brad (NYC)
Raise your hand if you want to see Harvey die in jail?
Charlie (Flyover Territory)
Broke. Yes
Pat Choate (Tucson, Arizona)
All who aided Weinstein need to be identified and if possible indicted as co-conspirators.
Fred (Up North)
As one of my grandmothers would say, "Mr. Boies has gotten too big for his britches." Hopefully, The Times will pull the plug on his double-dealing firm.
Carl Ian Schwartz (Paterson, New Jersey)
I'm reminded of my earlier reading habits, to wit, Erich Maria Remarque's "Arch of Triumph," in which his refugee physician protagonist inspected the merchandise in high-end brothels in pre-war Paris (where it was tolerated; it was legalized during the Occupation). Perhaps if we had legal prostitution, as was the case in Germany since the Hohenzollern monarchy through the Third Reich and also today, horny producers would have an outlet and law firms wouldn't have to stoop to sexless prostitution of their profession.
Jules (California)
Tell me you're kidding. You don't think Weinstein could see a high-end prostitute any time he wanted? This isn't just about sex Carl, don't you get it?
Sue Taylor (New Jersey)
Weinstein could have paid for ten women a night. But what that sicko got off on was forcefully debasing his prey.
Jennifer (Salt Lake City)
This is a deeply offensive argument. Its premise is that harassment and rape are normal, healthy sexual activities that just need an acceptable outlet, and that prostitutes are an acceptable outlet—in other words, it's okay to harass and rape as long as you do it to prostitutes. It also absolves the men who commit these acts from responsibility for their own actions. To suggest that this is just horniness, and that it could be acceptable to do this to anyone, prostitute or not, legal or otherwise, is appalling. Anyone can find paid sex if they want it, it advertises itself openly, and men with the money and connections that these enjoy can have their underlings take care of the logistics for them.
Hugh (LA)
Will politicians who received contributions from Boies return those funds? Money being fungible, the money Boies gave the politicians is the same as the money Weinstein paid Boies to do his dirty work. Stay tuned for the scapegoating of some junior partner at the Boies firm.
Julia (Massachusetts)
Let this be the end of absurd questions as to why women are reluctant to pursue legal action against, or even disclose, a sexual assault-- Would you make a peep if you knew that some people would go to such extreme, disgusting lengths to make sure no one believed you?
Chico (New Hampshire)
Harvey Weinstein is using the same playbook that Donald Trump used, only Donald Trump has gotten away with it so, far.
Seamus (Maryland)
And Bill Clinton
DHR (Rochester, MI)
And Justice Clarence Thomas.
Refugee from East Euro communism (NYC)
Mr. Weinstein, Ms. Streep, Mr. Boiles, in general the Hollywood and trial lawyers, almost all staunch Democrats preaching to us from high moral ground how to live and what to think. There is something fundamentally unhealthy or worse in that picture of "progressives". The justified fear from this combination of powerful reminds me of the system we escaped from across the Iron Curtain.
kagni (Urbana, IL)
Dear Fellow East Euro refugee, how did you get Meryl Streep into this ??
Kyle Taylor (Washington)
Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly, Donald Trump, Dennis Hastert, Sandusky, the Catholic Church..... looks like it is a bipartisan issue to anyone with open eyes.
Bobb (San Fran)
Of course! anybody surprised powerful men abuse their positions, even his successful wife felt for it. Am just sad for the children. Being sick and doing therapy is just your old tired playbook.
lance (new york)
Woodward and Bernstein need to be acknowledged again for what they did. And Farrow and Kantor (and some others) need to be commended and respected for what they are doing. If it weren't for a free press, the powerful persons in this country would be stomping on the rest of society. And the Times and The New Yorker both desire our heartfelt thanks for doing a job that is not easy to do.
Seamus (Maryland)
Remember Oppenheim and NBC tried to kill Farrow's story. They are complicit as much as anyone.
JLD (California)
I used to admire David Boies. Key words here are "used to." Thank you, NYT for the reporting. And to the New Yorker, as well.
Duncan Lennox (Canada)
Weinstein took advantage of his power to force several women to do sexual favours for him........ Well, the USA elected (sort of ) a serial molester of women as it`s president (16 women came forward). So far Trump has not been made to pay the price of his vile actions on women. The fact that there are millions of Red state females that are part of the Never-Vote-Democrat crowd, no matter what , even when the Trump-GOP cabal defunds Planned Parenthood , takes legal control of THEIR bodies & cancels health care to give the 1% an $800 billion tax cut is a SAD commentary of the US education system.
OSusannah (New Orleans)
And people wonder why women are reluctant to report sexual assault and harassment by powerful men? Weinstein did not hesitate to use the strongest, most capable powers in the country to protect himself.
SM (Brooklyn)
The Machiavellian depravity and depth of Weinstein's soul-rot is clear. But Ronan Farrow and Jodi Kantor's work make me consider: if these are the lengths a mere movie producer will go to suppress information about his rapes, sexual assaults & harassments, imagine what far more consequential and powerful people do concerning other affairs... Frightening.
kagni (Urbana, IL)
You can take away Olympic medals. Can you take back the Oscars ?
Rebecca (Michigan)
Do we really think that Mr. Weinstein is the only person who has done this? Mr. Weinstein's actions to suppress information about his unacceptable behavior have been incredibly elaborate and expensive. It makes me wonder whether other people with something to hide are doing the same.
Jennifer (Salt Lake City)
I think we can assume that they are.
DSS (Ottawa)
Training on how to treat women should begin in the home with follow-up in schools. It's all about how to be decent person and the importance of treating people with respect.
happycamper (LA)
I'm unfamiliar with any type of recovery that says a person can get better and be in denial. The first step is the admission that a person has a problem, so Mr Weinstein is incapable of recovery because he's unwilling to admit what he has done. His denials are as horrifying as his harrassment and assault. And in my opinion, what makes it evil (as opposed to a mental health issue that's reparable) IS the denial, which is a lie. He knows what he's done but he wants to do it secretly and then he wants to lie about it and pretend that he is good. That's a choice.
Sara D (Oakland)
His only regret is getting caught
JRS (rtp)
When he eventually leaves jail, he will still be a manipulative, evil sleaze ball preying on whom ever his eyes befall.
Don Perman (New York)
He's a bad guy, clearly. Just wondering: If he starts a new film company and offers word people million-dollar contracts for their scripts, plays, novels, memoirs, short stories, diaries, or personal life stories...would all the wordsmiths, or would-be wordsmiths, turn him down? That's $1 million for your words. Yes or no?
JaneQToYou (New York)
Perman: I think we got a pretty clear view of that answer (generically) when actors and actresses ignored reports about Woody Allen, when the details of what happened to Farrow's younger children and the fact that he married his adopted daughter was out there for all to see. The fact that Ronan Farrow was the one who so systematically, thoroughly and bravely reported on the travesty that is Weinstein is Shakesperian, heroic and an effort to be highly admired. Truly a hallmark in that heroes journey.
Larry D (Brooklyn)
Jane Q, for the ten-thousandth time, Woody Allen did not HAVE an "adopted daughter". As far as "Farrow's younger children" are concerned, one of them wrote a book which disputed the charges against him, which you obviously did not read, since you continue to blithely besmirch a man's reputation with what can best be described as "almost facts".
DSS (Ottawa)
Although sexual abuse has been with us since the beginning of time, it is now an epidemic and out of control. I hate to say this, but President Trump is the role model for our youth. What they see is clear. To be successful and get what you want you have to be in their face. There is no such thing as ethical behaviour, and being rude, crude and vulgar is an okay male thing. Well it's not! And, parents should be instructing their children to watch Trump and observe what he says and does, and remember, this behaviour is unacceptable in a civilized world.
Jbugko (Pittsburgh, pa)
I hate this sleaze as much as I hate Trump which begs the question: How many women have been threatened into silence by Trump. How much has been suppressed and hidden. Trump was accused of raping a 13-year old (filed in the UK, this was a fairly recent law suit), he was also legally accused of an attempted rape of a former business associate (a lawsuit was filed in 1994), and we have heard of his breaking into her home during their then separation and not only raping his ex-wife but beating her up (1991). Those are the accusations we know of because that went public. Considering how vengeful and threatening as well as power-hungry Trump obviously is, how many more untold and suppressed stories from women he's abused are there.
EE (Canada)
Something's in the air this week. First the Paradise Papers, now this - and it's only Tuesday. We're really getting a glimpse of the many odious things that are perfectly legal to do. Meanwhile, ordinary people have to waste their time jumping through hoops like parking infractions and late payment charges. What a terrible, terrible system has been built by money and licensed officials to protect the rich. Bravo to the NYT, Farrow at the New Yorker. and ICIJ for exposing these folks. May you win Pulitizers all. Boies will probably get a phone call today from the law society and might even end up in jail for this. Good.
Victor James (Los Angeles)
If this about trying to conceal evidence of sexual assault, which is a crime, we are talking about a conspiracy to obstruct justice. I think Mr. Boise, et al, have much more at stake here than possible disgorgement of fees. And there is no attorney-client privilege if the attorney's services were aimed at promoting a crime or fraud. There are quite a few lawyers furiously hitting the delete button and running the paper shredder today.
Blackmamba (Il)
Harvey Weinstein should run for President in 2020 on a ticket with Bill Cosby. All will be forgiven and forgotten.
sfjazzman (San Francisco)
Ray Donovan anyone?
Concerned Mother (New York Newyork)
Shakespearean: We have the main drama, which is the destruction of our republic by a big, domineering, sexual predator with anger management issues, and his sneering, toadying family and hangers on, and then we have the play within the play, the Player King, a big, domineering sexual predator with anger management issues with his bunch of highly paid henchmen, wolves in bespoke suits. It's easy to get the Player King to fall. Let's hope the Weinstein fall is an out of town try out for getting Trump out of the White House.
Bigsister (New York)
Let's see Weinstein try to buy his way out of his current predicament.
Lillie NYC (New York, NY)
I just read that David Boies donated $10,000 to Cyrus Vance after the 2015 investigation into Weinstein was dropped.
Refugee from East Euro communism (NYC)
They are the "boys who talk to each other", they have to show mutual solidarity, Democrats as they are.
stg (oakland)
Everyone from Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey, not to mention high-ranking heads of NPR and MSNBC have had to resign and been dropped by their companies, agents, publicists and projects due to mere allegations of sexual misconduct. Meanwhile the "president" of the country has publicly confessed, indeed boasted, about molesting and assaulting countless women, and he is permitted to continue in the charade of his Putinesca criminal enterprise. Why?
Hugh (LA)
For the same reasons Bill Clinton was.
JRS (rtp)
Just finished reading Ronan Farrow's piece in The New Yorker, what a despicable man Weinstein has been; aided and abetted by the Hollywood elite and protected by this news network, David Bois and a bunch of sleazy Israeli character assassins. Must admit, I didn't have a lot of sympathy for those actresses before because I felt most had choices and they chose unwisely in order to pursue glamorous movie careers with a sleaze bag; but the techniques used to harass some of those naive women was awful and should have been illegal. The legal system should be ashamed and thank God for this new crop of great journalist, esp. Ronan.
Sara D (Oakland)
Excuse me? These women are undeserving of sympathy because they pursued their professional ambitions? They are responsible for assuming the risk of ambition? What a gross equation for you to make!!
DHR (Rochester, MI)
"[...] but the techniques used to harass some of those naive women was awful and should have been illegal." And, how were the young women "naive"? Please explain.
sapere aude (Maryland)
There is no surprise regarding Weinstein's actions. The surprise here is Boies, another hypocrite Democrat covering Weinstein's dirty work and offering lame excuses. Appalling.
Jane (Brooklyn)
No hypocrite Republicans out there, though
CJ13 (California)
Two strong similarities between Weinstein and Trump: 1. Both are sexual predators 2. Both appear to be future heart attack patients.
MimiB (<br/>)
One can hope, sparing us from their whining attempts at self aggrandizement.
pjm (California)
This is some really important reporting. A Pulitzer for Farrow? David Boies has damaged his reputation in an unmeasurable way. Most importantly, the New York attorney general needs to open its own investigation into witness intimidation, fraud, and whatever else they can think of to get the facts here.
Charlie (Long Island, NY)
He should have hired Ray Donovan.
John Logsdon (New York)
Harvey and his women do not understand quid pro quo.
Sherlock (NY NY)
Let's us give thanks to America's FREE PRESS.
Jbugko (Pittsburgh, pa)
I noticed that people are calling for this guy to be put in jail, yet we have a man in the oval office who also threatened the women he molested AND is plummeting headlong into an indictment for conspiracy against the United States. It stands to reason that if there's a public outcry for this sleaze to be thrown in jail, the public outcry for Don the Con to spend twice as much jail time behind bars. And what's up with his refusal still to release his tax returns. Is he afraid he'll have to threaten us when we find out he paid zero in federal taxes last year while claiming his tax rate is "the highest in the world". I mean, come on. Who is sleazier than Donald Trump.
David in Toledo (Toledo)
It was a crime (of sorts) to roll over for James Baker and Dubya Bush in Florida.
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
You think Boies rolls over for anyone?
GAWhite2 (NV)
It was reported earlier this week that Rose McGowan has an arrest warrant out on her for drug charges. Have to wonder if that isn't somehow related to this as it appears nothing is out of bounds to Black Cube.
MimiB (<br/>)
Under unusual circumstances. She was not "caught" with the drugs, but rather they were "found" some time back . Stinks like horse manure.
Chriva (Atlanta)
Isn't Boies the guy that Clooney likes to hang out with? All a surprise to Clooney...
willie currie (johannesburg)
Watching Mindhunter on Netflix and reading the exposure of Weinstein makes me wonder whether there's just a spectrum issue between rapists/sexual predators and 'sequence killers'. Just a matter of degree.
Sally (California)
I am really stunned that David Boies is up to his neck in this. I had formerly respected him. The NYT should sue him and his firm -- completely unethical. The circle of corruption seems to expand hourly.
moosemaps (Vermont)
What an awful nasty man. But he did not do this alone. Far too many people without a moral compass, chasing dollars or just not pausing and realizing they could - and should, and must - say No, that is wrong and I will not do it.
SC (Midwest)
How about a law that makes it a crime to knowingly participate in actions designed to suppress evidence of the commission of a crime? As nearly as I can tell, this exists in some states but not all. While we're at it, how about looking at the visa status of these foreign pay-for-hire dirt diggers?
Joe (New York)
Let us hope that David Boies is never treated with respect by the mainstream news media again. I don't want to see his mug as a legal expert on any of the news talk shows and I don't want to read his opinion quoted in any article.
Mikhail (Mikhailistan)
Most troubling of all : the Mossad seems to have switched missions - from assassination of terrorists to character assassination of young actresses. Has the world run out of villains?
Allison (Austin, TX)
No, but young actresses are easier to target than the big villains. We have one of the biggest villains comfortably ensconced in the White House.
Mikhail (Mikhailistan)
Yes. Young actresses certainly do make themselves easy prey. The biggest villains would never occupy a so-called 'white' house.
Harley Leiber (Portland OR)
Harvey had the access to women, the money and means to basically take whatever he wanted. His ravenous, insatiable and deviant appetites ruined lives along the way, as well as causing untold hurt, suffering, and fear. Now we see the level of premeditation involved in both initiating the transgressions, and the surveillance and dirty tricks to keep the victims quiet. We have many people in prison who have done far far less. Let's not get distracted by his self serving stint in rehab. Equal treatment under the law, after due process, requires consideration of prison for punishment. Seek treatment on your own time.
Robin LA (Los Angeles,CA.)
Boies Schiller deserves a VERY bad yelp review.
Doug Giebel (Montana)
Few surely believe that Harvey Weinstein's pathological behavior is normal, that all (or most) people in power are sexually driven to such abuse. However, with charges rampant (and perhaps mounting) against Weinstein, how can the public know which allegations against Weinstein are true, which are exaggerations, which are false? Prominent figures (and others who receive meda notoriety) can be convicted by public opinion. However, the call to afford fairness and justice to the harassed and the raped in any situation must also demand fairness and apropriate justice to the accused -- no matter how reprehensible (or truly sick) the alleged behavior. When potential victims agree to meet in private with powerful figures, we don't know how many have willingly participated, have gone along to get along -- and for some, to get along in order to further their own careers. Harvey Weinstein's behavior as described (are there no films available?) must not be condoned. But we must also not condone false allegations, and we must afford all parties in disputes fundamental fairness. Harvey Weinstein claims all his allegedly-abusive contacts were consensual. Might he believe there was consent when there was none? Mental states govern our perceptions. How do we prove whether someone truly believes what one claims to believe? Sexual conduct and misconduct are complicated issues, because like most human behavior, there are no simple answers. Doug Giebel, Big Sandy, Montana
L (NYC)
@Doug: Another out-to-lunch comment by a MALE. Why would you think ANY of the allegations by women against Weinstein are exaggerations or are false? So far, there's ZERO evidence of that. Then you say you're in favor of "fundamental fairness" - something Weinstein did not afford his victims - in fact, he went to enormous trouble to be sure that his victims would NOT be heard or believed, and he made sure that he stalled or ruined the careers of many women who were insufficiently compliant to him. You ask "Might he believe there was consent when there was none?" Dear Lord, are you really that gullible?! Please stop being an apologist for Weinstein and his inexcusably vile behaviors. Weinstein believed whatever he wished to believe, and he terrorized and sexually assaulted many women in the process. If you were on a jury and someone who'd committed sexual assaults over a number of decades said "Oh, I thought they all wanted me to do that to them!" would you believe that too?! If you're wondering who's lying and/or exaggerating, look directly at Harvey Weinstein and don't take your eyes off him. He is a sexual predator who should be (and hopefully will be) in prison.
chris Gilbert (berkeley)
I hope the identify of the "agents" is made available. The more transparency the better.
clk (hoboken)
as awful as these actions are, it is really new and shiny (and expensive) wrapping on a very old procedure.......discredit the victim and make things very uncomfortable to make it go away. And people wonder a) why more women don't report and b) why when the do report they go for settlements as often as they do. Clearly the lawyer in this article either is good at compartmentalizing or is one of many who think that sexual assault, harassment, etc isn't really a big deal......maybe both
DSS (Ottawa)
Although sexual abuse has been with us since the beginning of time, it is now an epidemic and out in the open. I hate to say this, but President Trump is the role model for our youth. What they see is that to be successful and get what you want you have to be in their face. There is no such thing as ethical behaviour, and being rude, crude and vulgar is a male thing. Well it's not! And, parents should be instructing their children to watch Trump and observe that what he does and says is not what to do.
LibertyNY (New York)
I am not shocked by the Boies connection. It's a biglaw firm, and like all firms in biglaw it relies upon the old-boys network to do business. Count how many female partners there are compared to male partners at BSF. If you counted male equity partners versus female equity partners the disparity would be even greater. Enough said.
caroline (paris,france)
Unbelievable.I cant' imagine Harvey Weinstein not being sentenced to prison if he is sued and if there is a trial.
E Johns (Virginia)
glittery icons like Apple gleefully hide $Trillions overseas, law firms are more sleazy than they appear on TV, the gatekeepers to our religious and entertainment institutions are child abusers and monsters, too many adults pretend nonsense is real and nothing is awry with the climate, corporations are people, Republicans in charge of the country keep stealing from future generations to give themselves huge raises in the present ... This is the America we've made and offer as a legacy to our children. Do we seriously wonder why our kids are depressed and some take refuge in drugs and others dance with self destruction.
see (PA)
"Truth" in American today is in the eye and wallet of the beholder.
Abigail (Seattle)
Wow. What should the consequences be for Weinstein? He deserves all the public shame but instead of simply locking him, it seems his countless victims should decide how most effectively to punish him. Perhaps this would send enough of a chill down the spine of all would-be future perpetrators.
toddchow (Los Angeles)
And besides the "Democratic stalwart David Boies," when discussing Weinstein and predatory enablers, let us not forget the women's rights stalwart Lisa Bloom.
Alan (Hawaii)
This certainly puts the lie to any sincerity Weinstein expressed in the apology he issued after the articles came out. As for David Boies, I am searching for ways to cut him a break. Protecting a major Democratic Party supporter and, by extension, the party’s agenda? Misplaced friendship? A huge fee? But nothing works. The only thing I return to is the thought that, as seen in the White House, the slime of corrupted morals has a tendency to spread and cover even those who should know better.
Lillie NYC (New York, NY)
Boies has a film production company that does some business w/Weinstein & he was planning to be more involved with it as he eases out of his firm. It seems Boies couldn't have been too repulsed by Weinstein.
Jude (Pacific Northwest)
NOT SHOCKING! This is typical MO for men AND women in power positions in these sorts of situation. Nothing new inside & outside of Hollywood. Representatives of these predators baffle me,especially since they almost always the use negative information approach to justify clear assault.Case and point, the botched attempt by Lisa Bloom to discredit Rose McGowan based on sexual history-beyond ghastly! I'm sure there's a larger number of victims, who haven't and may never come forward because, unlike the Hollywood crowd, many of us have ALOT to lose since we don't have the kind of luxury available to them to us. I know this since, I work in the Construction field predominantly with men and daily interactions test my limits and there are days I want to put someone in their place, but I hold my tongue since THIS is my livelihood of which I am not ready to gamble with.
Steven W. Giovinco (New York, NY)
Disguising but not surprising. It just hurts everyone and the scandal continues to radiate out in seemingly unexpected ways.
Cloudy (San Francisco)
Since these firms are clearly very profitable, one has to wonder about their other clients. What else have they participated in hiding?
The Poet McTeagle (California)
Weinstein had plenty of money, sufficient to discreetly pay the highest level of professional sex workers for whatever he had in mind. He chose instead to pursue vulnerable women with ambitions in the film industry. This clearly illustrates that this behavior isn't about sex. It's about exercising power over women.
Davis (Florida)
Brilliant comment! Thank you.
V (Los Angeles)
I am so disappointed in David Boies.
Rich (Hartsdale, NY)
I'm disappointed that you had high enough expectations of him to be disappointed when he acted in a fashion that should have been expected of him.
TW (Blue State)
RICO. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them in doing, closing a perceived loophole that allowed a person who instructed someone else to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because they did not actually commit the crime personally"
Charlie (Flyover Territory)
Yes indeed. RICO was designed for organized crime - which this is. The most effective part of the law allows confiscation of the financial assets of convicted organizations. Here at least it could lead to confiscation against Weinstein's corporations, the law firm, and the Israeli Black Box honey pot operation. Anybody with a financial arrangement with Weinstein, including the Democratic National Committee, could be swept up in such an investigation. Now everything will depend on the willingness of Sessions' Justice Department to initiate the investigations. The FBI will be in charge, just like against Tony Soprano.
bob (Santa Barbara)
I think Weinstein and the others are a symptom of the same societal problems as are the mass shooters. Both are about power and control and in each case, a number of lives were destroyed. We are living in a very psychologically unhealthy society and the symptoms are popping up all over the place
Jim Muncy (Crazy, Florida)
Well, just remember the poetic truth of Genesis where the first couple broke the only rule they had to follow, and their second son killed their first son. We're still the same: If it feels good, do it. Maybe you won't get caught.
Nice White Lady (Seattle)
I agree. It's called rape culture and been around forever. Where have you been that you seem so surprised?
GreggMorris (Hunter College)
"Weinstein-ism" reveals iniquitous institutionalized and systemic behavior. If Weinstein engaged in covert action, surely he's not the only one. Ahh, the NYS Attorney General's Office should start ab investigation. So, should the city and state bar associations. Lawyers and PR businesses should not be allowed to benefit from the pain and suffering they may be complicity in.
Bob (U.S.A.)
This latest revelation is dismaying but not surprising. Harvey Weinstein appears to be a nasty, thuggish piece of work. Claiming victim status would complete this picture (or has he done this already, perhaps by calling his opportunistic, predatory behavior "weakness" or expressive of his "sense of humor"?). I wonder if Weinstein's camp has figured out how to purchase the consequences to come?
Stellmaria (Earth)
Weinstein paid a fortune for trade ads that hyped his flicks. That hype led to glowing reviews, which generated awards. Those awards created the false perception that his rambling, cloying, boorish films were "art". It was all a tall tale, and not a very good one at that.
TW (Blue State)
Yes. Aside from everything else - his Oscars are middle-brow pablum.
Robert (Seattle)
The journalists Ronan Farrow and Jodi Kantor give us in striking clarity the value and utter necessity of a strong and vigorous free press as called for in the Constitution. The free press is a guarantee that we will yet again be touched by the better angels of our nature. The poor get poorer, but have the rich ever been as rich and powerful as they are now? It is time to protect the free press from the piracy and predations of Google, Facebook and Twitter, from the parasites and imposters like Fox and Breitbart.
Allison (Austin, TX)
If only he hadn't been so rapey, Weinstein could have made at least one or two good small-budget films with all of the money he spent on covering up his misdeeds. He couldn't have loved the movies that much if he sacrificed them for his own selfish interests. Why is it that the wrong people always wind up with too much money, while the people who would actually put it to good use go without? It seems as if this country only rewards bullies and criminals. We even elected one president!
Nice White Lady (Seattle)
We've elected more than a few bully presidents but I take your point.
Ann (Dallas)
Just when you think the news couldn't possibly get anymore nauseating .... Wow. Even David Boies was an enabler? David Boies? The misogyny in our culture is truly out of control.
kathy (SF Bay Area )
Yes, misogyny is out of control, and it has been increasingly so for decades. Lawmakers - mostly Republican men - have been trying ceaselessly to curb women's right to an abortion. They've worked tirelessly on thousands of pieces of legislation to that end. Most pretend to be concerned for the well-being of fetuses, but this is a scam. While they try to prevent women from having control over our bodies - which translated to control over our lives - one out of six LIVING children is hungry, poverty and child abuse are endemic; our public education system is crumbling, women are not guaranteed anything close to comprehensive prenatal care or maternity leave and are still paid less than men. Hundreds of other serious challenges our country faces are flat-out ignored, often by representatives paid to look the other way or even to support industries doing us harm. Yes, misogyny is out of control.
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
Boies is not an enabler; he was Weinstein's attorney. Even very unpopular people are entitled to retain attorneys. The larger, and more interesting question, is how Boies did not see this as a conflict of interest. His license could be at stake.
kevin (Boston)
From this exchange, I would have gathered that the misuse of the word misogyny is out of control . . .
Serg (New York)
immediately dropping the firm from representing the Times doesn't appear to be one of the appropriate remedies.
adm (D.C.)
Just when I thought I could no longer be deeply shocked, I read that David Boies' law firm agreed to hire private investigators to spy on Weinstein's accusers and NYT reporters. This is indeed the Twilight of the Gods.
Jim Muncy (Crazy, Florida)
No, no: The scales have just fallen from your eyes. It is shocking and nauseating. But it's always been with us, like the poor.
Jon (New Yawk)
Glad to see the NY Times continue to expose not only the abusers but all of the enablers that try and help these monsters to escape justice.
Norman (NYC)
How much would Black Cube charge to compile an investigative report on Donald Trump?
C. Whiting (Madison, WI)
For those (white males like me) who don't think this kind of ugly behavior can affect them directly, just take a look at how far these poisonous tentacles have stretched. Condone garbage long enough and the stink will hang in your own clothes. On that note, the NY Times association with Mr. Boies doesn't smell good. I like this newspaper, and when cover-ups and character-destruction hit close to home, only the most vigorous and deep rooted interrogation of the facts, and public re-charting of course is going to suffice.
mevjecha (NYC)
Will David Boies defend anyone for money? We expect Gloria Allred to kneel at the alter of every open, salacious wallet, but David Boies? Why would David Boies want to have anything to do with Harvey Weinstein? Does the devil ever deserve defending?
Garak (Tampa, FL)
Why does this remind me of Scientology and its "suppressive persons?"
expat from L.A. (Los Angeles, CA)
Doesn't the legal profession have any means and/or the will to sanction those who ruin its credibility and reputation (assuming that's still possible)?
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
Your question is rhetorical, but I assure you, yes, it does. The legal profession does not, however, have the right to sanction a contract for legal representation, unless the contract is for illegal (or unethical) ends or to be achieved through illegal means. And this is as it should be. The more important question here is how Boies did not view this as a conflict of interest, given his firm's prior representation of parties adverse to Weinstein.
Anne (Portland)
This demonstrates the depth and degree that predators will go to protect themselves while delighting in hurting others. They demonstrate zero authentic remorse yet express a great deal of self-pitying when they are finally held accountable. This man, and others like him, need to be in prison.
Mebster (USA)
The predators I've dealt with, sexual and violent, are usually brash and open about their abuse, reveling in the tacit complicity of everyone who observes and does nothing. In fact, other men and sometimes women, while not necessarily abusive themselves, often take pleasure in setting women up for abuse, focusing especially on those who've complained. It's putting women in their place. It has everything to do with power and very little to do with sex.
C. Whiting (Madison, WI)
While I agree strongly with the spirit of your comment, it is not true that "other men and sometimes women, while not necessarily abusive themselves, often take pleasure in setting women up for abuse." We must be very clear that setting someone up for abuse is abuse. Otherwise only the henchmen will be deemed guilty. Boise and everyone who knowingly enabled this ongoing horror film must get full screen credit as co-abusers.
Karen (Phoenix)
My own experience working with “nonoffending” mothers of child incest survivors was that many knew but chose to ignore to protect their own varying interests. A few offer up their children, and these women were often child survisors themselves who seemed determined that their own kids wouldn’t be unscathed. Now in another field, I have long since abandoned the notion that other women have my back or have the moral upper hand. There is a lot of silence to go around.
elizabeth forrest (takoma park, md)
i agree w your observation & i wonder in what capacity do you deal w predators ? have you been a victim of predators ? are you a licensed professional ? just wondering. I have known 6 predators (most were family members) & they were narcissistic, entitled & incapable of empathy who regarded victims as the rest of us regard a choice piece of meat.
Benjamin Teral (San Francisco, CA)
Weinstein is a person of wealth and therefore influence, and it's not surprising that he would go to any (apparently legal) length possible to try to derail the investigation into his behavior. Sleazy, sure, but that's not new. The involvement of the Boies law firm in undermining the Times' work is surprising, a violation of their relationship with their client, presumably committed in full knowledge of what they were doing. Wow. Boies and Weinstein, a match made in...
Kathleen (Massachusetts)
Everyone has been asking why those, maybe a little closer than the periphery, "knew and did nothing," and yet there is an entire group of people who took paychecks to help this abuser. It's disgusting, and I hope the lawyers are disbarred. Sadly, if this lot gets fired, they'll find jobs working DNC or RNC...
Ann (Dallas)
The New York Times' remedy against David Boies is a complaint to the New York Bar that Boies violated New York Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7 prohibiting conflicts of interest. Make no mistake: he violated that rule, and the only question is whether the Bar will be spineless enough to let it go. Boies violated the rule because it was foreseeable and likely that his work on behalf of Weinstein attempting to suppress a news story would land him on opposite sides of a legal dispute with another current client, The New York Times. That's a big no-no. Boies' conduct also displays the "funneling ruse": put lawyers' names on business documents and then claim, voila, it's privileged because look, there's a lawyer's name on it. It's a scheme to hide the ball in discovery. All the way around, Boies' reputation should be in tatters right now.
Seenitall (New York)
I agree with your condemnation of Boies, but how would a contract with a third party be subject to the attorney-client privilege?
Ann (Dallas)
Seenitall, it is not privileged, but the ruse is to insert a lawyer into business dealings that you want to keep secret, and then if you are sued, hide the documents by logging them as attorney client or work product privileged. It happens all the time, more typically with in house counsel. Boies is denying that he directed the contractual work -- so why did he sign it? He was a willing part of the funneling ruse.
Jim Linnane (Bar Harbor)
Did not Weinstein pledge to use all of his time and resources to go after the NRA when he was outed? Just wait for it.
Jean (Little Rock)
I try to avoid conspiracy theories, but stories like this lend credence to the idea that the deck is completely stacked against the non-powerful and the not rich. As for lawyer David Boies -- have you no shame?
Broz Tito Jackson (NYC)
To paraphrase Noam Chomsky: yours is not a conspiracy theory, it’s an institutional analysis. In other words, reality.
San Ta (North Country)
Stacked Deck! OMG! It isn't the earth that the meek shall inherit; it's the dirt!
Vikas Garg (Singapore)
Why hasn't he been arrested yet?
Broz Tito Jackson (NYC)
Why didn’t his accusers go to the authorities and press charges immediately after he assaulted them?
Alison (Menlo Park, California)
The majority of abuse victims NEVER come forward at all - because of shame and fear of being attacked, and questions like yours. Studies show that on average, it takes a victim more than 20 years to come forward. It took me 25 years to speak out against my abuser
Ann (Dallas)
Dear Mr. Jackson, one accuser did go to the police, got him on tape, and the prosecutors did nothing. There was a vast and utterly revolting, ubiquitous desire by so very many people to let this guy get away with this. They were all willing to look the other way. It really says something very very dark about societal attitudes towards women.
Muezzin (Arizona)
Why is he not in jail yet?
Broz Tito Jackson (NYC)
Probably for the same reasons his accusers chose not to go to the authorities and press charges immediately after he assaulted them. Also, he hasn’t been formally accused by a prosecutor, tried by a jury of his peers, and convicted of a crime.
Paul Ephraim (Studio City, California)
Seems that David Boies' representing Weinstein in order to suppress publication by the NYT, by whatever methods, while his firm was representing the NYT in other matters, clearly raises the questions of conflict of interest and legal malpractice. At the minimum, he owed it to the NYT to get their consent before taking on Weinstein's cause. The Mossad business just adds a little color.
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
Yes, at the very least, an informed written waiver of the potential conflict, in writing, by both the Times and Weinstein, was required.
Gail (durham)
Stunning. Talk about absolute power corrupting absolutely. Additional corrupt, despicable behavior on the part of Harvey Weinstein. As the layers of the onion keep peeling back, this just gets more unbelievable. Shocking that an individual has the power to use former Mossad agents to pervert justice.
Upstater (NY)
@Gail: Well at least he employed his own landsmen! (I'm waiting for the "anti-semitic" brush to be applied!)
Insatiably Curious (Washington, DC)
Like another sexual predator who graces the front pages of the Times every day, but shall remain nameless, Weinstein sullies everything and everyone he touches. Weinstein wasn't able to get away with his disgusting, predatory behavior for decades just because it was difficult for women to come forward, but because so many were so complicit for so long. And now one of America's most respected lawyers is shown enabling this repulsive, if not illegal, behavior to cover up Weinstein's crimes. Boise's disregard of clear conflict rules regarding representation is the least of it. This is whole Weinstein mess is a real morality tale, and nearly everyone in it failed. Disgraceful.
L (NYC)
David Boies and his firm USED TO have a good reputation, but they've been tarred now by the Weinstein scandal & their part in it. They deserve every bit of embarrassment and disgrace they receive! It appears that Harvey Weinstein degrades everything & everyone he comes into contact with, one way or another.
Duncan Lennox (Canada)
"David Boies and his firm USED TO have a good reputation," He is a lawyer and a NYC lawyer as well. "Good Reputation" and NYC lawyer are difficult to force into the same sentence.
Lillie NYC (New York, NY)
It appears Boies was Highly Degradible.
Esther Geller (New York, NY)
What an evil man. EVIL and SICK.
Patient Observer (San Francisco)
Speaking-out against sexual predators more perilous than we thought. Weinstein hires ex-Mossad agents to spy on female accusers and investigative journalists. Attorney David Boies, Democratic operative, hides Weinstein intimidation efforts and “launders” intelligence yields by exploiting attorney/client privileges. Weinstein undercover agent “befriends” Rose McGowan and secretly tapes conversations with her. Caught in a bind, McGowan “blackmailed” into signing a sham 100-thousand-dollar non-disclosure agreement. Back at the ranch, Boies’ law firm contracts with ex-Mossad agents to vilify NYT reporters while simultaneously defending the newspaper in libel cases. “Not a conflict of interest”, says Boies. You can believe him. He’s an attorney.
Sally (California)
Boies should be disbarred for all the reasons you state.
JKO (NY NY)
David Boies, you are COMPLICIT in Harvey Weinstein's criminal activities. You are THE enabler & more repulsive than Weinstein. You, I am certain, regret only that you've been "caught." That makes you no different than Harvey Weinstein. You have no decency, David Boies. You are a disgrace to the legal profession.
Chriva (Atlanta)
Good grief - when did this vile, ugly and repugnant 'man' ever find the time to make movies? I find it incredible that Weinstein, with his seemingly innumerable wall of a-list scummy 'enablers' like Streep, Damon, Affleck(s), Clooney etc. would need to pay ex Mosad pros to further intimidate his victims and reporters. Ronan Farrow and Rose McGowan deserve humanitarian awards for their persistence in bringing this monster super predator down.
Eric Francis Coppolino (New York)
<< Good grief - when did this vile, ugly and repugnant 'man' ever find the time to make movies? >> That is brilliant. What a great question that nobody else has asked
M (Washington)
Unrepentant, determined, sexual predator... and his willing enablers. Disgusting.
Tony Francis (Vancouver Island Canada)
Not only is Harvey disgusting but he is a sneaking nasty coward as well.
Scott (Right Here, On The Left)
I'm a lawyer. In the first place, I would not agree to represent someone asking me to thwart a public interest story that would uncover very damaging conduct by a prominent personality. I believe I would not do it at any price, and I suspect that the fee was in the seven figures. In the second place, I cannot imagine taking a case that meant my task was to undermine my own client (here, the NYT). Doing so without even telling my client would be, in my opinion, a violation of my oath as an attorney, not to mention a violation of common sense and morality. Thank you, NYT for your investigative journalism. These stories are VERY IMPORTANT. We are seeing that Lord Acton was speaking about an immutable truth 100 years ago when he said, "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Quality journalism, such as in the NYT, helps to shine a light where the corruption is. It is up to our elected officials to take the corrective action necessary to address the corruption. Which means it is up to us, the electorate, to vote for candidates who might actually do the right thing when confronted with absolute power.
Eli (Boston)
"Doing so without even telling my client would be, in my opinion, a violation of my oath as an attorney, not to mention a violation of common sense and morality." But not of the law? Does this mean it is not a violation of the law? Is it legal to represent two opposing entities SECRETLY from one of them???? Unbelievable! In my book this should be a felony. Or something punishable with decades in prison.
God is Love (New York, NY)
Scott, are you aware of the tragic irony of your last thought? Today Cy Vance Jr is running unopposed, and will most likely be re-elected, as Manhattan District Attorney. In 2015 Vance's campaign received $10,000 from Weinstein's lawyer, David Boises, just months after Vance refused to prosecute Weinstein on sexual-assault charges. This is all absolutely corrupt!
Lee Harrison (Albany/Kew Gardens)
Well, could those remedies involve serious fines and/or disbarment? If not, this is the joke that legal discipline usually is.
Joanna Grossman (New York City)
Not lacking for prestigious, remunerative, challenging and worthy clients and cases, David Boies affixed his signature to a sordid contract. He himself provided a sordid and inept statement to the New Yorker. I hope his law firm is liable for more than an explanation.
David Lockmiller (San Francisco)
"The contract, which the magazine published on its website, had as its signatory a Weinstein lawyer, David Boies, a Democratic Party stalwart who argued for marriage equality at the Supreme Court and represented Al Gore in the disputed 2000 presidential election." This proves the old adage: If you pay some lawyers enough money, they will do and say anything. Contrast this statement by the NYTimes with the "lawyer" philosophy of Abraham Lincoln: "There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal. Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief -- resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave." Perhaps, even now, David Boies, the lawyer. will resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. No, I don't think so.
mm (ny)
Thanks for the Lincoln quote -- hadn't seen that before.
Socrates (Downtown Verona NJ)
It looks like Harvey Weinstein and his henchmen should be prosecuted under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). Organized 0.1% crime is organized crime.
stg (oakland)
I wonder why the "president" hasn't spoken out about a subject near and dear to him, the subjugation, abuse, and sexual assault and harrassment of women--and now the attempt to obstruct investigations into it and cover it up. I wonder why.
Alison (Menlo Park, California)
There is time for everything. To drag Trump into this is not the time.
Allison (Austin, TX)
Trump was involved in this kind of terrible behavior -- and getting away with it, as he bragged -- long before Weinstein came onto the scene. Trump is long overdue for a huge takedown.
James (Phoenix)
Legal industry publications recently published stories about David Boies stepping away from managing his firm as part of succession planning. To be sure, his age could be the primary reason for such a move. These new revelations, however, make me wonder if Mr. Boies knew this shoe was about to drop. A lawyer's obligation is to his/her client, certainly. I don't begrudge Boies Schiller for taking Weinstein's work. But the possible conflicting engagements for Mr. Weinstein and the NYT amounts to an inexcusable, unforced error by a prestigious firm. Moreover, Mr. Boies often cloaks himself in the nobility of representing socially-just causes; he now appears to be a hypocrite who shed his touted morals when the money was right.
Arden W. (New York, NY)
David Boies has directly contributed to the abuse and harassment of sexual assault victims. I'm sickened. Is there legal action available against him or his firm? This is a gross misuse of power.
Lou Good (Page, AZ)
Yes, as did numerous women at his own company. Why is there so little attention focused on them? He didn't do this alone, he had women like the reprehensible Ms. Hofmeister cheerfully enabling everything he did. Lots of them. What's going to happen to them if they were willing participants leading other women to be assaulted and raped? Their cowardice is disgusting and possibly criminal.
Dean (US)
I think there's a real possibility of a civil RICO action against the Weinsteins, their company, the talent agencies who handed over so many young women and covered up the assaults against them, and now David Boies' law firm.
Lillie NYC (New York, NY)
The good news is this wlll all be used against Harvey Weinstein at his criminal trials in Los Angleles, New York and London (even if the investigators' files are considered client-attorney privilige). There're enough low-hanging filthy details about the attorney/client/investigator relationships that will be admissible at his many trials.
susan (nyc)
Didn't Weinstein say that all of the sexual interaction was "consensual?" If it was, then why did he take these actions?
Donna (Atlanta, Georgia)
I just read the New Yorker article and was surprised at the lengths to which this disgusting man went in order to hide his sexual predation acts. Jodi Kantor,Megan Twohey, and Ronan Farrow were very brave to investigate this story given that Weinstein was using going to far as to use private investigators in an attempt to prevent the story from going forward. They all deserve Pulitzer Prizes because this story has had such far-reaching consequences.
Ann (Dallas)
Dear Donna, Ronan Farrow is also very brave considering his father sexually assaulted his then seven-year old sister and then used his sexual relationship with yet a different sister as a defense (i.e., their mother was a woman scorned). Can we re-visit why it is OK for Hollywood to still work with Woody Allen?
Donna (Atlanta, Georgia)
Ann: I was also thinking about why people are still working with W. Allen when I read Ronan's article.
Johnathan (New Joisey)
If you believe Woody is guilty, by all means boycott his movies. But the rest of us who don't believe he's guilty will go on enjoying his work.
Lillie NYC (New York, NY)
Is this how Weinstein got an Academy Award for that trite movie Shakespeare in Love? (It beat out Band of Brothers in 2001.) As for David Boies - how law is the bar for disbarment? Will it be business as usual for his firm? When Boise was working for Gore, was also doing business with the Bushes?
Mike Kruger (Chicago)
If that name sounds familiar: Boies was also Al Gore's lawyer in 2000, and lost Bush v Gore
Karen N (Mill Valley California)
Among the remedies for breaching the rules governing conflicts of interest are: (i) disciplinary sanctions from the State Bar against the individual lawyer and the law firm, and (ii) disgorgement of fees paid while the conflict persisted, I.e. the Bois form may have to give the NYT back it's money. The reputational damage for breaking such a basic ethical rule is incalculable. What were they thinking?
bcer (Vancouver)
It sounds as if lawyer Boies may have been older...succession planning..career change into movies. Maybe, with an alleged failure of judgment, he is mentally "losing it". It happens at all level of the social scale.
David Lockmiller (San Francisco)
David Boies was thinking that the public would never find out about his duplicity. I like the part in the contract where he referred to the NYTimes as "a leading NY Newspaper." When you are trying to cover-up ethical misconduct, you don't want to be too obvious, even when writing a contract that supposedly will never see the light of day. The contract, which the magazine published on its website, had as its signatory a Weinstein lawyer, David Boies. A contract with one of at least three private investigation firms that Mr. Weinstein employed, Black Cube, listed its “primary objectives” as providing “intelligence which will help the client’s efforts to completely stop the publication of a new negative article in a leading NY Newspaper” and obtaining content from a book that was to include “harmful, negative information on and about the client.” The magazine identified the newspaper as The New York Times and the book author as Rose McGowan.
Dean (US)
The remedies may go deeper even than those. The more I read about Weinstein's machinations to assault women and the cover-ups and enabling by his company and now his lawyers, the more this looks like a civil RICO action to me. If a court agrees, we're talking treble damages, costs, and attorneys' fees in the lawsuit, aside from disgorgement of prior fees and state bar discipline.
Ellen Cleary (Michigan)
Angels weep when intelligence (in both senses of the word) is utilized to enact and then cover up evil, to prolong and more deeply inflict harm. The organization and care Weinstein took to ensure he could freely commit his countless crimes is chilling.
John Parken (Jacksonville, FL)
The reported conduct of Boies Schiller and Flexner and its partners and employees seems despicable even for lawyers.
Ann (Dallas)
Dear Mr. Parken, Boies Schiller and Flexner violated New York Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7 relating to conflicts of interest. Please do not blame all lawyers. Hopefully the New York Bar will punish Boies for violating Rule 1.7. If the Bar is too spineless to do so then, OK, go right back to making lawyer jokes.
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
Agree with Ann. The critical issue is conflict of interest, not whether Boies is considered a bad guy for representing a sleaze. Sleazes are allowed to retain high-powered lawyers, whose ethical standing will not be determined by their client's popularity.
Brigid McAvey (Westborough, MA)
I am so sad that this talented, but vile man thought it was a better use of his time, energy, and money to quash allegations than to use the same unlimited resources to get help for his compulsions. Profoundly sad.
Nice White Lady (Seattle)
Why? Are you not more sad for his victims?
Wine Country Dude (Napa Valley)
It's possible to feel sad for both things. Except, that is, where single minded partisans obtain.
annenigma (Crown of the Continent)
Laws, ethics, and justice, like taxes, are only for the little people.
Scott (Right Here, On The Left)
I remember Leona Helmsley saying that about taxes. Seemingly as true today as when she said it.
Irvington reader (Irvington)
Why is it that a slew of hitherto "untouchable" harassers can be outed, shamed and cast out of their jobs and polite society, but we can do nothing about the NRA? Where is the #metoo groundswell for gun control?
Lillie NYC (New York, NY)
Because these are people who carry guns (not to denigrate decent people with guns).
Nice White Lady (Seattle)
Because we love our guns more than we love our children.
Carrie (ABQ)
I agree. Let’s make it happen.
Ellen (Williamsburg)
I read Ronan Farrow's excellent report this morning - he is an avenging hero, wielding his pen as a weapon. It's astonishing that a private citizen, albeit with seemingly unlimited resources, can marshall this array of forces to counter perceived enemies. It reads like a fantasy spy novel, but is only too real. dirty dirt dirty behavior dirty dirty dirty business
verycold (Mondovi, WI)
Ronan is avenging sexual predators because of the on going saga in his family and how Hollywood, a nest of progressives, have protected Woody all these years and in fact raves about him.
Janet Newton (Wisconsin)
Weinstein isn't the only one who engages in this kind of bullying and intimidation/revenge against those whom he perceives as a threat or who "slighted" him; he isn't even Exhibit A, who resides in the White House (for the time being).
Johnathan (New Joisey)
And we all know that Woody is guilty, right? Just show some proof, not merely one accusation in more than half a century in the business.
Miguel Valadez (UK)
Yet another example of how money and power undermines justice. If we don't get money out of politics and the entire justice system (including taxation), its corrosive power will end up destroying American civilization as we know it.
kathy (SF Bay Area )
I agree that we must get money out of politics. But money is only a tool, to be used for good or ill. It is the greed, lust for power and ultimately the callous disregard for other human beings that is the central problem here. To me, at least.
Gee (Princeton, NJ)
It's a little late, in case you haven't noticed. It's already destroyed.
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