“She Said” shows how some figures who have presented themselves as allies of victims have profited from financial settlements that silence them.
The attorney Gloria Allred is one of the most vocal crusaders against sexual harassment and assault. Privately, her firm helped negotiate a settlement that muffled one of Mr. Weinstein’s victims in 2004, taking a 40 percent cut. (The firm has also worked on settlements that silenced victims of Larry Nassar and Bill O’Reilly.) In an interview for “She Said,” Allred defends her use of confidential settlements, arguing that clients are not forced to sign them and often prefer them for reasons of privacy.
Allred’s daughter, the lawyer Lisa Bloom, a prominent victims’ rights attorney, was working behind the scenes with Mr. Weinstein — at a rate of $895 an hour — to quash the journalists’ investigation and thwart his accusers. In a confidential memo to Mr. Weinstein that Ms. Bloom wrote in December 2016, which is reproduced in “She Said,” she offered to help him damage the reputation of one of his accusers, Rose McGowan, and portrayed her background as a victims’s rights advocate as an asset.
“I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them,” Ms. Bloom wrote, before laying out a multistep playbook for how to intimidate accusers or paint them as liars. One of Ms. Bloom’s suggested tactics for undermining Ms. McGowan: “We can place an article re her becoming increasingly unglued, so that when someone Googles her this is what pops up and she’s discredited.”
Ms. Bloom accompanied Mr. Weinstein on a surprise visit to the Times the day before the initial article was published, to present the journalists with information intended to portray several accusers — including Ashley Judd, the first actress to go on the record — as unreliable and mentally unstable.
Ms. Bloom has said she was crossing sides to work for Weinstein to encourage him to apologize for his behavior. She later told the reporters that she “deeply regretted” representing him, which she said was a “colossal mistake.”
Another member of Mr. Weinstein’s legal team, the attorney David Boies, helped Mr. Weinstein evade scrutiny for his treatment of women over 15 years, working to halt reporting on the producer by news outlets, blocking the board of Mr. Weinstein’s company from reviewing his personnel file, and helping Mr. Weinstein execute a contract with Black Cube, an Israeli private investigations firm, that was promised a $300,000 bonus if it stopped the Times investigation. (Ronan Farrow, who published a separate Weinstein exposé in The New Yorker in October 2017, later broke the news of Black Cube’s work for Weinstein.) “She Said” reveals emails showing that during the time that Mr. Boies represented Mr. Weinstein, the two men discussed potential film roles for Mr. Boies’s daughter, an aspiring actress.