- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2017

A former New York Times reporter says the paper of record “gutted” her story about film mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct in 2004, after actors Matt Damon and Russell Crowe lobbied the paper not to run the piece.

Sharon Waxman, founder of The Wrap, said the story she wrote detailing the allegations against Mr. Weinstein and Miramax Italy head Fabrizio Lombardo “never ran.”

“After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at the Times, the story was gutted,” Ms. Waxman wrote at The Wrap.

Instead, the story was “stripped of any reference to sexual favors or coercion and buried on the inside of the Culture section,” Ms. Waxman continued.

Mr. Weinstein was forced out of the film company he co-founded on Sunday, days after The New York Times published an expose on the powerful Hollywood executive.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Weinstein said he “came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplace were different.”

“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” he said.

The 2004 story centered on Mr. Lombardo, the former head of Miramax Italy, whose real job with the company was allegedly to “take care of Weinstein’s women needs,” including arranging evenings with Russian hookers.

He reportedly received $400,000 for less than a year of employment at the company, despite no prior experience in the film industry.

Ms. Waxman also said she tracked down a woman in London who said she had been paid off after an unwanted sexual encounter with Mr. Weinstein.

To preempt the article’s publication, Ms. Waxman said Mr. Weinstein paid a visit to The New York Times newsroom personally.

“I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known,” she wrote. “I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.”

The New York Times investigation published on Thursday found Mr. Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact over the last three decades.

Additional allegations of sexual harassment have come to light in the wake of the bombshell report.

Lauren Sivan, a former news anchor in New York, told the Huffington Post that Mr. Weinstein trapped her in the hallway of a restaurant and masturbated in front of her.

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