Why Did NBC News Hold Off Reporting Harvey Weinstein Story?

By Chris Ariens 

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Ronan Farrow began working on his blockbuster New Yorker story documenting decades of sexual harassment and sexual abuse allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein last December.

Sources tell TVNewser Farrow and his team got on-camera, on-the-record interviews with several of Weinstein’s accusers–at least two of whom insisted on being in shadow to protect their identity. They also got a hold of a 2015 NYPD recording of Weinstein attempting to coax a woman into a hotel room.

All of that reporting was for NBC News. It was part of an investigative series focused on Hollywood that Farrow was producing under a non-exclusive contract with the network.

But, even as the reporting continued into the summer, after a careful production and legal review, NBC News executives decided the story wasn’t ready for air. It didn’t help that NBC was hearing from Weinstein’s camp. Farrow himself was personally threatened with a lawsuit by Weinstein.

NBC told Farrow he could take the story elsewhere.

In August, our sources say, Farrow went to The New Yorker. Editors there began a thorough fact check, including verifying sources. Farrow conducted new interviews with accusers, including actresses Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette.

An NBC insider says their’s “was a sincere effort to nail a story, and we just didn’t have it.”

Farrow has been on NBC and MSNBC today talking about his reporting, some of which still exists on NBC News servers.

This story comes a year and three days after NBC News got scooped by The Washington Post, when that publication aired the Billy Bush/Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape. NBC News sat on that story for several days last October, fearing a lawsuit.