News·3 min read

Ronan Farrow on his new book "Catch and Kill"

Oct 16, 2019

The Story

Ronan Farrow wrote a book called “Catch and Kill.” You may have heard people talking about it.

Who is Ronan Farrow?

He’s an investigative reporter who broke one of the Harvey Weinstein stories in 2017. His new book dives deep on the trouble he went through to publish that story and the secrets he uncovered along the way.

Tell me more…

Farrow alleges that when he worked at NBC, the network stopped his reporting on the story because of pressure from Weinstein and his allies. He says that Weinstein knew about allegations against the network’s star anchor Matt Lauer, and may have threatened to expose them. Farrow also writes that Weinstein hired spies to stop the story. It was eventually published in the New Yorker, and won a Pulitzer Prize.

Related: Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey on Harvey Weinstein and Journalistic Impact

Did you say spies?

Yes. Farrow said he was given documents that prove Harvey Weinstein hired an Israeli intelligence firm called Black Cube. Their agents were allegedly tasked with finding out who Farrow was talking to, and what they were saying. Two agents working on the case reportedly switched sides, and gave Farrow inside information about the operation.

What are NBC and Weinstein saying about this?

NBC News and Weinstein have separately denied Farrow’s account. The network has consistently said that Farrow didn’t have enough evidence to publish the story. NBC also says it didn’t know of any wrongdoing by Lauer until November of 2017, and he was fired shortly after.

What evidence does Farrow have?

He says he looks for a paper trail. Farrow reports that money settlements and confidentiality agreements are often used to keep victims from speaking out. He says both Weinstein and NBC used this tactic. NBC has denied this allegation, too.

It sounds like there are a lot of sides to this story.

There are. And the allegations in the book have made headlines lately. Farrow is standing by his reporting, saying, “this is more important than the fate of any one person or any one company. This is about the heart of our democracy and who tells us the truth.”


“Catch and Kill” is about a system set up to keep allegations of sexual assault a secret – and the lengths some powerful people may have gone to prevent the story from getting out. More to come from our conversation with him next week.

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