Harvey Weinstein tried to pressure NBC News into killing Ronan Farrow's investigation of his sexual misconduct by threatening to reveal similar behavior by former "Today" show host Matt Lauer, Farrow writes in his explosive new book.
Farrow ultimately published his Weinstein exposé with the New Yorker, shortly after The New York Times released a similar story, igniting a global reckoning that launched the #MeToo movement. Farrow outlines in his new book "Catch and Kill," a preview of which Variety obtained, how his former employee, NBC News, obstructed his efforts to report the story.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about the release of his book, Farrow also highlights the role that Lauer may have played in hindering his investigation.
Lauer, who was fired from the "Today" show in 2017 over sexual misconduct allegations, is accused of raping a staffer while they were working at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, according to Farrow's book.
Farrow writes that Weinstein learned of Lauer's history of alleged sexual misconduct during a 2017 meeting with Dylan Howard, chief content officer of American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer. Weinstein used his alliance with AMI to pressure NBC News executives into killing Farrow's story, in order to protect Lauer, according to Farrow.
"Weinstein made it known to the network that he was aware of Lauer's behavior and capable of revealing it," Farrow writes in his book, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Farrow based his allegations on conversations with anonymous sources at NBC and AMI.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC said: "NBC News was never contacted by AMI, or made aware in any way of any threats from them, or from anyone else, for that matter. And the idea of NBC News taking a threat seriously from a tabloid company about Matt Lauer is especially preposterous, since they already covered him with great regularity."
An AMI spokesperson told Insider: "The story presented by Mr. Farrow, while dramatic, is inaccurate."
Representatives of Lauer sent Insider a lengthy statement responding to the allegations Wednesday morning, claiming the encounter was consensual.
Farrow's book, "Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators," comes out October 15. It was vigorously fact-checked.