Harvey Weinstein had 'secret hitlist' of film industry figures to keep sex scandal from going public

Disgraced film producer is said to have listed names he wanted investigators to target and acquire information about

Harvey Weinstein: The celebrities who have accused him of sexual misconduct so far

Harvey Weinstein had a secret “hitlist” of prominent individuals used to discover whether they knew about sexual misconduct claims against him, it has been claimed.

The Observer says it obtained access to the list, which contains the names of almost 100 actors, publicists, producers, and former Weinstein Co. employees, whom he appeared to identify as part of a strategy to prevent his accusers from going public.

Compiled early in 2017 by Weinstein himself, those named in the list were apparently meant to be targeted by investigators he hired to accumulate information about whether they knew of the claims. This information was then reportedly ordered to be relayed back to Weinstein and his lawyers.

Among the most prominent names said to be on the list are Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her. The Observer says actress Laura Madden who, along with McGowan, was one of the first to speak out in public against Weinstein, is also on the list. Priority figures - ones Weinstein was most keen to target - were apparently coloured in red: McGowan and Madden’s names were both highlighted.

It is unclear as to whether the disgraced film producer intended to approach the individuals on the list. Over the past three decades he reached non-disclosure agreements with several women, according to two company officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

More than 50 women have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault, rape, and inappropriate behaviour that spans four decades. The allegations have prompted police investigations in the US and the UK.

Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lupita Nyong'o were among the high-profile actresses who came forward to publicly accuse him of sexual harassment. Weinstein “unequivocally denies” all claims of non-consensual sex.

A spokesman dismissed reports that Weinstein hired spies to prevent accusations going public, telling the Observer: “It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time."

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