Reporter says NYT killed her 2004 expose on Weinstein after he visited editors

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A former New York Times reporter on Tuesday repeated her claim that the newspaper “gutted” a story about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault allegations in 2004 after the media mogul paid a visit to top newsroom editors.

Sharon Waxman, a former Hollywood correspondent for the Times, said in The Wrap that her story was shut down after “Weinstein, his lawyer David Boies and spokesman Matthew Hiltzik all came personally to the newsroom to meet with Executive Editor Bill Keller about the story.”

Waxman’s 2004 story initially focused on Fabrizio Lombardo, the former head of Mirimax’s Italy office, and how he acted as Weinstein’s “procurer,” allegedly bringing women to Weinstein’s room.

She says her story was ultimately “stripped of any reference to sexual favors or coercion and buried on the inside of the Culture section, an obscure story about Miramax firing an Italian executive.”

“I do remember Harvey and Boies and possibly Mathew coming to a meeting with Keller in the building early in the process,” Michael Cieply, Waxman’s editor at the time, told Waxman in an email.

“Keller never took any steps that I was aware of to kill the story. But I do remember defending your right to report the story in several heated exchanges with Harvey afterwards,” he continued.

According to Waxman, editors changed her story after Weinstein and others campaigned against its publication.

{mosads}New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet denied Waxman’s claims last week, calling it “unimaginable” that the newspaper would do that, pointing to their history of publishing investigative reports that receive a wave of backlash in response.

“The top two editors at the time, Bill Keller and Jill Abramson, say they have no recollection of being pressured over Ms. Waxman’s story,” Baquet said.

Keller said he doesn’t remember the reason, but he does remember Weinstein’s visit.

“I don’t recall the date or subject, but I do remember Harvey and David Boies coming in to complain about something,” he wrote to Waxman over email, while reportedly not responding to her attempt to get him to confirm the visit related to her story in a follow-up email. 

“Ten-plus years later, the NYT and the New Yorker scooped you, and I’m sure that feels awful. But don’t blame editors or Harvey’s bullying for the fact that you failed to nail the story,” Keller added in a follow-up email.

Abramson also denied Waxman’s claims, calling them “untrue.”

A representative for Weinstein told Waxman she is checking on the claim. Hiltzik declined her request for comment. And a spokeswoman for the Times told Waxman that Baquet stood by his remarks.


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