Rumors had swirled around Harvey Weinstein for decades, and the New York Times’s Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey were not the only reporters to put their noses to this ugly trail.
But as they spoke to actresses and, in a surprising turn, more and more female former employees of the Weinstein Company, they discovered that settlements and nondisclosure agreements had smothered the truth.
The steps taken by others to conceal Weinstein’s actions and give them legal cover are almost as chilling as Weinstein’s abuse, and Kantor and Twohey’s unwinding of this camouflage is a delicate maneuver made possible only by women willing to break their silence.
The reporters’ urging of an actress to go on the record about Weinstein’s abuse and a last-minute face off with Weinstein and his lawyers in the Times’s offices brings the investigation to its pinnacle of tension.
As the book switches to another high-profile accusation, the pacing grows clunky, likely because the authors were not embedded in that investigation, but then rises again, buoyed by a small gathering of very different women at Gwyneth Paltrow’s house.
Their candid talk on the lingering toxicity of abuse, social media backlash, and the damage to these women’s careers caused by both silence and speaking out will bring home to readers how one abusive moment can ruin lives, and how listening to what “she said” is the first and important step to stopping someone from perpetrating crime after crime.