In Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill, Farrow narrates his efforts over several years as he worked to report rape accusations against film industry big wig Harvey Weinstein. One of the book’s main narratives, also told in a New Yorker article, details the courageous account of the Whistleblower Aid client, Igor Ostrovskiy.
Trying to block the rape story from becoming public, Weinstein hired private intelligence firm Black Cube. For months, before he knew who was paying him, Igor was assigned to surveil New York City targets, including Farrow and New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor.
Igor is an immigrant — a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from the former Soviet Union–and he doesn’t take his freedoms for granted. As soon as he realized he was part of an disturbing effort to discredit and intimidate alleged rape victims and journalists, Igor knew he had to do something.
Catch and Kill tells the remarkable and courageous story of how Igor first approached Ronan, setting up secret meetings in underground restaurants and quietly explaining the mechanics of Black Cube’s covert surveillance. He told Ronan about the use of geo-location to pinpoint individual cell phones, collection of unauthorized credit reports, and even illicitly-obtained private bank records.
But Igor didn’t stop working for Black Cube. He stayed on as an internal informant, feeding everything to Ronan.
In early 2019, Igor decided to help U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors as part of an open criminal investigation into Black Cube. He contacted Whistleblower Aid, and we set out to help him. We guided him through the disclosure process and met multiple times with investigators in Manhattan.
We also got to know Ronan Farrow. After we helped him secure his communications, he relied on disclosures by Whistleblower Aid client Signe Swenson for his explosive story about MIT’s relationship to Jeffrey Epstein.
Check out some excerpts from Catch and Kill here:
And here are some tweets from Farrow and Ostrovskiy: