I know a girl, a little girl, I think of her in that way because of her size. She’s tiny. She got raped. I know the rapist too. I also know his mum. She contacted me and asked me to stop calling him a rapist. ‘It was just one of those things,’ she said. ‘She panicked.’ The irony here is her daughter must have panicked too. Because she’d gone to the police alleging an acquaintance had raped her a few years ago. The rapist messaged me telling me he’d call the police for slandering him. You know what happened next. What usually happens next? Nothing.
Ronan Farrow grew up with a rapist. His stepfather was film director Woody Allen. He married a stepsister he was parenting, Soon-Yi. Dylan, his sister, said that Woody Allen had digitally penetrated her vagina when she was seven-years-old. That’s around the age Michael Jackson preferred young boys to be when he had sex with them. Hearsay, of course, they would never have done those kinds of things.
Then there’s Trump and stories about sexual assault and rape. Almost as many stories about Trump as there were about Harvey Weinstein. Many of us have probably heard of him being caught in a sting filmed with Russian prostitutes when visiting Moscow, and asking them to pee on the bed. Putin was meant to have found that quite funny. But the Russian President did admit that Russian women were the most beautiful in the world. Trump couldn’t help himself, allegedly.
He was of course, a friend, a very, very, good friend with Jeffrey Epstein. They shared ‘Katie Johnston,’ also known as ‘Jane Doe’. That’s what the lawsuit against Trump stated in 1994. The usual kind of story of a thirteen-year-old girl in New York thinking she can become a professional model and forced to perform oral sex on Epstein and Trump. The finale was ‘a savage sexual attack by Trump’. It didn’t happen, of course, because the girl was clearly underage. Fake news of the kind Prince Andrew never committed.
Bill Cosby, of course, was found guilty of rape on re-trial. He claimed he didn’t drug his victims. Weinstein claimed he didn’t drug his victims either. Therefore it couldn’t have been rape. It certainly wouldn’t have been if he got elected President of the United States.
Farrow’s story is one we’ll be broadly familiar with. But the detail is eye-catching, because it’s all laid out. How the rape victim becomes a target to Catch and Kill.
That’s military jargon. Farrow begins his account with a meeting between two immigrants in a Brooklyn café in 2016. The narrator wasn’t there, but he writes the account as if he was. Roman Kyaylin was from the former Soviet Union. Igor Ostrovskiy was from Ukraine, which was also part of the former Soviet Union. They were for hire in the growing intelligence sector in the United States. Their target was spying on Ronan Farrow.
They were subcontractors, above them was Black Cube, an Israeli-based spy network, with former Presidents and Mossad directors selling their services to those that could pay. Weinstein made initial payments of $600 000.
Pegasus software was sold to dictators all over the world to track dissidents in their midst. It could track them and listen to their conversations. It could also activate the camera-phone. Here it was used to track a different kind of dissident. Farrow wasn’t the first reported to pick up on Weinstein (and Trump’s) story of rape and sexual assault.
Delay, doubt and deny. Picking holes in victim’s accounts. Terrifying them and forcing them into submission. The grunt work was done as low-grade shadowing. Threats came from on high and in torturous legal documents that billed their paymasters and sought to close victims’ mouths.
Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, for example, created a number of fictitious shell companies to pay Stormy Daniels $130 000 to shut up about her relationship with Trump. Weinstein employed a carousel of lawyers and faces that used the same tactics and playlists.
Both men had the backing of Dylan Howard at The National Enquirer. Like the News of the World in Britain, prior to the phone-hacking scandal, it sold tabloid scandal, but to Americans. Celebrities were fair game. Sometimes the only game. They put Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, in the frame.Urged him to cut a deal, and they wouldn’t publish pictures of him with his mistress. Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Wahlberg, and an endless list of stars and politicians, Bezos declined and preferred to be outed rather than ‘blackmailed’ and beholden.
Trump, of course, cut a deal. Dylan Howard and Michael Cohen worked together to buy the rights to the story of disgruntled women that claimed to be sexually assaulted or raped by the former President, or even a former housekeeper that was said to have a son to the moron’s moron. Then nothing happened. Apart from the moron’s moron getting elected American President in 2016, which was worse, much worse
Trump’s and Weinstein’s had paid for supposed slut shaming and shutting women’s mouths. There was a certain irony that Murdoch’s Fox News anchor, Tucker Carlson, used a picture of Farrow’s boss, Noah Oppenheim, as a prompt:
‘Let’s be clear, NBC is lying. Many powerful people knew what Harvey Weinstein was doing and not only ignored his crimes, but actively took his side against many of his victims. It’s a long list, but at the very top of the list is NBC News.’
The sins of omission are almost as long as the sins of commission. Ronan Farrow has brought into the light the crimes of a deluded Weinstein, who still proclaims his innocence from a prison cell. We wait for the moron’s moron to join him. My guess is he’ll be dead before then. His crimes against women in particular and humanity, in general, are still to be accounted for. No doubt someone like Ronan Farrow is working on that book now.