For Weinstein, a Brush With the Police, Then No Charges

As the police and prosecutors investigated the model’s allegations, the movie mogul set in motion a team of top-shelf defense lawyers and publicists to undermine her credibility.

.. Stories questioning her motives popped up in the tabloids with anonymous sources. Mr. Weinstein’s team even enlisted the help of a former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor turned novelist with influential ties.

.. In the end, the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., announced he would not press charges. Once the criminal case was closed, Mr. Weinstein silenced Ms. Battilana with a substantial payment.

.. The case demonstrates how Mr. Weinstein, with ample funds and influence, was able to assemble a counterstrike against the sex crime investigation using the weapons available to the powerful. It also highlights the challenges such cases pose, even for the vaunted Manhattan district attorney’s office

.. The case demonstrates how Mr. Weinstein, with ample funds and influence, was able to assemble a counterstrike against the sex crime investigation using the weapons available to the powerful. It also highlights the challenges such cases pose, even for the vaunted Manhattan district attorney’s office

.. Mr. Vance, who is running unopposed for a third term, said the evidence was not strong enough to win a conviction, despite the audio recording. “If we had a case that we felt we could prosecute — that my experts felt we could prosecute — we would have,” he said.

.. As his tone grew belligerent, a detective, concerned for Ms. Battilana’s safety, intervened. Pretending to be a reporter from TMZ, he loudly badgered Mr. Weinstein for an interview, causing enough of a scene for Mr. Weinstein to retreat from the hallway, investigators said.

Once they were back downstairs, Ms. Battilana slipped out a side door, and Mr. Weinstein was once again confronted by a detective. This time, the detective made it known he was from law enforcement, and that the police wanted to talk to him.

.. The Times found that in at least seven other cases, he had quietly made payments to female accusers in exchange for their silence

.. Mr. Weinstein, meanwhile, appeared determined to stay as far away from court as possible. He denied any wrongdoing and quickly retained Elkan Abramowitz, a former law partner of Mr. Vance, as well as Daniel S. Connolly, another former prosecutor turned white-collar defense lawyer.

.. Linda Fairstein, a former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor who had once written an article in Vanity Fair about her dream of doing a movie deal with Mr. Weinstein, agreed to consult. She was a close friend of Martha Bashford, head of the district attorney’s sex crimes bureau, and facilitated an introduction for Mr. Abramowitz.

.. “Calling Ms. Bashford to tell her who Elkan was and to ask her to consider meeting with him is the kind of thing I do four to six times every year,” said Ms. Fairstein, who said she had determined Ms. Battilana’s complaint was unfounded.

.. The influential public relations strategist, Ken Sunshine, known for his bare-knuckled tactics, put out statements on Mr. Weinstein’s behalf. And the tabloids ran stories suggesting she was selling her story for $100,000 and had tried to use the groping allegation to blackmail him. Mr. Weinstein planted stories to sow doubts about her credibility, said someone familiar with the efforts who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

.. “These types of matters are considered in two forums; one is the court of law, but probably the more important forum is the court of public opinion,” said Mr. Heller, who represented Ms. Battilana for a few days before being replaced by another lawyer, David Godosky. “They tried to spin an opinion in court of public opinion in a way that would break her down and make her go away.”

.. It arrived several years after Mr. Vance had drawn criticism for the way he handled a case involving another powerful man, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who was accused of sexual assault of a hotel maid in 2011.

.. In the case of Mr. Weinstein, police recording equipment had failed, but Ms. Battilana had captured the entire conversation on her telephone, including his admission that he had grabbed her breasts, investigators said. Security cameras had caught video of Ms. Battilana leaving Mr. Weinstein’s office looking distraught

.. Ms. Battilana had gotten Mr. Weinstein to acknowledge that he had touched her breasts, but she had not brought up her claim that he put his hand up her skirt. Prosecutors saw this as a problem, the officials said.

.. Mr. Vance could have moved forward with the case. “The idea that Weinstein’s criminal intent was unprovable because of his stated ‘professional need’ to personally inspect her breasts doesn’t pass the laugh test,”

.. He paid her a sizable sum, according to two people familiar with the confidential payment. In exchange, she made a legally binding promise to never speak of their encounter again.

.. Ms. Battilana, who declined an interview request, recently told Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper that she struggled to get work after the case was over and that the fashion world closed its doors on her.

“What happened to me really put my view of the world to the test,” she said.

With a flood of accusers coming forward, she said she hoped that it “will bring me justice.”

Harvey Weinstein’s Media Enablers

.. we’re hearing a lot about how the story of his misconduct was “the worst-kept secret” in Hollywood and New York.

.. The real story didn’t surface until now because too many people in the intertwined news and entertainment industries had too much to gain from Mr. Weinstein for too long. Across a run of more than 30 years, he had the power to mint stars, to launch careers, to feed the ever-famished content beast. And he did so with quality films that won statuettes and made a whole lot of money for a whole lot of people.

.. “The unfortunate reality of Hollywood is that if someone has money, then they can generally find some kind of audience of people who are interested in working with them,” said Kim Masters, the editor at large at The Hollywood Reporter. This was particularly true of Mr. Weinstein, who, she said, was known for having “the golden touch” that produced “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting,” “The King’s Speech” and “Shakespeare in Love.”

.. She said she wanted to believe that times were changing, given the number of women who have put their names to the words that derailed the careers of Bill Cosby, who faced criminal charges that resulted in a mistrial this year, and Bill O’Reilly. But she also wondered aloud whether trouble had finally found Mr. Weinstein because he was no longer the rainmaker and hitmaker he had once been.

..Ms. Bloom has attributed his missteps to his status as a “dinosaur” who is now “learning new ways.”

.. there is a long tradition of disgusting harassment of women who try to make it in the movie business. (Jack L. Warner, a founder of Warner Bros. studios, was no saint.)

.. Mr. Weinstein paid off his latest accuser in a confidential settlement.
.. he was allegedly harassing women in five-star hotel rooms across the globe even as his company was distributing films like “The Hunting Ground,” a 2015 documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. He also helped endow a “Gloria Steinem” faculty chair at Rutgers; joined a national women’s march in Park City, Utah, in January; and was a big fund-raiser for and supporter of Hillary Clinton.
.. State Street, the bank behind the famous “fearless girl” statue staring down the Wall Street bull, paid $5 million to some 300 female executives after a federal audit determined it had paid them less than their white male counterparts
.. Mr. Weinstein had his own enablers. He built his empire on a pile of positive press clippings that, before the internet era, could have reached the moon.

.. Every now and then, glimpses of his nasty side spilled out, like when he placed the reporter Andrew Goldman in a headlock and dragged him out of a party in 2000. Someone who was involved in that altercation, Rebecca Traister, wrote in New York’s The Cut on Thursday that it didn’t get the media attention it deserved because “there were so many journalists on his payroll
.. Let’s hope that those in the know did not include members of the Los Angeles Press Club, which this year gave Mr. Weinstein its “Truthteller Award,” calling him an example of “integrity and social responsibility,”
.. Mr. Weinstein has hired the emerging leader of anti-press jurisprudence, Charles Harder, who brought the case that put Gawker out of business last year.
.. what the cost would be and for the editors and reporters who conveniently didn’t bother to look into the tales making the rounds.
.. “I guarantee there are many more rocks to overturn.”