Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has admitted to recommending ex-Mossad agents to Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who were then used to suppress news stories detailing allegations of sexual assault against dozens of women, Israel's Channel 2 reported yesterday.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Weinstein, who has been accused of harassment and rape by over 82 women, hired a network of spies last year, which included former Mossad agents, to investigate women who accused him of assault, specifically actress Rowan McGowan who detailed his abuse in her autobiography.
Barak confirmed yesterday that he referred Weinstein to the Israeli firm Black Cube, which claims its employees are "highly experienced and trained in Israel's elite military and governmental intelligence units".
However, Barak denies knowing why Weinstein had needed the agency.
A statement released on Barak's behalf read: "Barak confirmed to Weinstein that the firm he heard about was probably Black Cube and that it does operate from Israel. Barak does not personally know the firm or its officials and he only transferred to Weinstein information that allowed him to reach out to them on his own."
"Barak was not aware until this morning of the fact the company was hired by Weinstein, or for what purposes or operations," the statement added.
Black Cube refused to comment on the proceedings, only stressing that the firm's activity was always legal.
According to the New Yorker, which initially broke the story of the movie mogul's abuse and obtained a copy of the contract signed with the Israeli company, during the one-year period the firm worked for Weinstein, Black Cube agents targeted dozens of individuals.
The agency's operatives built psychological profiles of the accusers and collected personal information on their subjects, including their sexual histories, in a bid to prevent them from publicly accusing Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault.
Weinstein also hired corporate-intelligence firm Kroll to perform the same task.