Report: Matt Damon and Russell Crowe helped kill a 2004 NYT story exposing Weinstein’s sexual misconduct

In the wake of the New York Times exposing three decades of alleged sexual harassment by Hollywood mogul and former Miramax head Harvey Weinstein, The Wrap founder Sharon Waxman wrote about the time she tried to expose the producer’s misconduct in 2004 for the same paper, only to have the story killed. Waxman attributed the decision to pull the story, in part, to pressure from Hollywood A-listers who benefited from their relationships with Weinstein, namely Matt Damon and Russell Crowe.

While researching the story, Waxman said that she traveled to Italy to investigate the role of Fabrizio Lombardo, the head of Miramax’s Italian office who she believed was being paid six figures for the sole purpose of providing a steady stream of women to service Weinstein while he was in Europe.

“I had people on the record telling me Lombardo knew nothing about film,” Waxman wrote, “and others citing evenings he organized with Russian escorts.”

From The Wrap:

I also tracked down a woman in London who had been paid off after an unwanted sexual encounter with Weinstein. She was terrified to speak because of her non-disclosure agreement, but at least we had evidence of a pay-off.

The story I reported never ran.

NYT ran a neutered version of Waxman’s story that just told the tale of some no-name studio executive getting fired without mention of his reported role in facilitating Weinstein’s abusive behavior towards women.

After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at the Times, the story was gutted.

I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.

Damon starred in several Miramax films, including the Academy Award winning “Good Will Hunting.” Crowe starred in a handful films Weinstein produced, such as “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” and “Cinderella Man.”

Neither Damon nor Crowe have responded to Vulture’s request for comment.

[Photo: Getty]