It’s been two years since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein first came to light. Now, the reporters who penned the groundbreaking story of the sexual harassment scandal and sparked a global movement are revealing what it took to convince some of the world’s most prominent actresses to go on the record.
Two years ago, a New York Times article sent shockwaves through Hollywood and captured the world’s attention. The story detailed nearly three decades of allegations of sexual harassment against a prominent film mogul, with many of the world’s most famous actresses speaking out about their exploitation. The accused was, of course, Harvey Weinstein.
Since then, the disgraced Hollywood producer has been accused by more than 80 women, including Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne and Lupita Nyong’o of sexual misconduct, assault and rape. As more and more women came forward to report abuse, the story sparked a viral social media movement, in which millions of people around the world spoke out against sexual assault and harassment with the hashtag #MeToo.
Weinstein has denied all the allegations in the run-up to his trial in September, and has entered a not guilty plea on all charges of sexual assault levelled against him. But even as the spotlight continues to centre on the disgraced studio mogul, the focus must not detract from the bravery of the women who stepped forward to speak out.
Two years on since the allegations surfaced, and the Pulitzer Prize winning reporters who penned the groundbreaking Weinstein story in the New York Times are set to release a new book centring the experiences of the women who spoke up and changed the course of history.
In She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the investigative reporters relive in real-time what it took to break the story and give an up-close portrait of the forces they were up against.
The Weinstein story, of course, didn’t break overnight. It took Kantor and Twohey many painstaking months of research and gathering evidence to substantiate the allegations against the Hollywood producer that stretched over nearly three decades. Through confidential discussions with prominent actresses, former Weinstein employees and other sources, the reporters recount how they learned of disturbing, long-buried allegations.
The book also explores how the journalists meticulously picked their way through a complex history of secret payouts and non-disclosure agreements, and persuaded some of the most famous women in the world to risk their reputation by going on the record.
While the public have been privy to the ongoing developments in the scandal, Kantor and Twohey, who have long reported on women, children and the workplace, detail the unknown side of the story: how they outmanoeuvred Harvey Weinstein, his team of high-priced defenders and private investigators to allow the truth to prevail.
With plenty of unknown material and new discoveries, She Said serves as a testament to the importance of journalism and how facts can drive social change in an age of fake news. But above all, it reminds us to pay attention to the stories of the women who spoke up, and how they pushed for a fairer, freer society for future generations.
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