Monday 23 September 2019

Irish-American journalist who broke Weinstein scandal experienced 'threats and intimidation'

Journalist Ronan Farrow. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Journalist Ronan Farrow. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Kyle Ewald

The Irish-American journalist who first broke the story of the sexual assault allegations surrounding producer Harvey Weinstein said he experienced “a lot of intimidation” and “threats” while pursuing the story.

Speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke, author and reporter Ronan Farrow said: “There was a lot of intimidation, there were a lot of threats right around then. People I trusted turned on me and powerful forces and law enforcement and media become instruments of suppression.”

The former American Department of State official won a Pulitzer Prize last month for his work writing for The New Yorker about the sexual abuse allegations regarding Weinstein that sparked the #MeToo movement.

Mr Farrow said while he is proud of the work he did, “it’s hard for this to feel like a victory lap” and that such systems of suppression “are still intact”.

“The work of exposing the truth must go on, but it does feel like tremendous validation of the importance of those women’s stories and acknowledgement that they’re being heard, I’m just relieved and grateful.”

Following Mr Farrow’s initial breaking of the Weinstein scandal, more than 80 women in the film industry came forward and accused Weinstein of sexual abuse.

“It was a tremendously difficult story both for the sources involved, who did a very brave thing in speaking to me and for the reporters who banged their head against the wall trying to make sure the truth came out,” said Mr Farrow.

The acclaimed journalist is son of film-maker Woody Allen and Hollywood star Mia Farrow. Although born in America, Mr Farrow also holds Irish citizenship and lived in the country for a short time.

Speaking of his Irish roots, Mr Farrow said: “My grandmother was Maureen O’Sullivan, one of the first Irish-American movie stars and she was from Roscommon and our family goes way back.”

“For a time we lived in Wicklow and you know, I’m a big fan of Ireland and the Irish people, I wish I could get back more often.”

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