Ronan Farrow says his Harvey Weinstein investigation could have aired on NBC

Ronan Farrow says his Harvey Weinstein investigation could have aired on NBC

In remarks made at an internal meeting, a transcript of which was obtained by the Washington Post on Wednesday, Oppenheim rejected the notion that NBC News sought to quash the allegations against Weinstein by passing on the story, which was eventually published on Tuesday by the New Yorker.

After Farrow took the story to The New Yorker, Oppenheim said he "greatly expanded" his reporting.

But after sitting for the interview, her lawyer contacted Farrow and NBC to revoke consent because it could put her in legal jeopardy given the terms of her settlement agreement, sources with knowledge of the situation tell THR.

HuffPo, citing anonymous sources, reported that NBC had the report as recently as August, and that Farrow already had the audio recording of Weinstein at that time. However, another unnamed source told Variety that Farrow had strong material.

On her MSNBC show Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow asked Farrow point-blank, "Why did you end up publishing this story for The New Yorker and not for NBC News?".

Farrow was unequivocal: "I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier". And he has threatened to sue the New York Times for its October 5 story detailing lurid harassment claims and eight settlements paid over many years.

A message sent to a Weinstein spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

Oppenheim said that NBC didn't feel the story as presented by Farrow this summer had all the elements needed for airing. It is not accurate to say it was not reportable.

"In fact, there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC", he added. Portions of the audio - which stemmed from the investigation into charges made by model and actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez - was released with The New Yorker story and has been played incessantly as major media outlets have picked up Farrow's reporting.

Taken on its own, you'd probably just assume that this was a bad decision on the part of NBC News, or that Farrow's story wasn't in good enough shape to run.

NBC News was aware of the footage for almost four days before the Post published it, saying they sat on it so lawyers could finish reviewing it. Two sources familiar with Farrow's reporting confirmed that he had conducted on-camera interviews; it's unclear if any of those interviews were with the women who have accused Weinstein of harassment or assault.

NBC, however, said Farrow's story was simply nowhere near as complete as the finished product The New Yorker ended up with, claiming Farrow didn't have accusers willing to go on the record. NBC's story was posted online seven minutes later.

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