Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill: 6 Things We Learned From the Shocking Book

Investigative journalist explores Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and more controversial figures in his new work

By Mike Vulpo Oct 15, 2019 10:43 PMTags

The spotlight is officially on Ronan Farrow's reporting.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter is back with a new book that's already making more than a few headlines.

Titled Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect, the author "exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hell-bent on covering up the truth, at any cost."

Some of the topics addressed in the book include Matt Lauer's time at NBC News and Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct allegations—claims he strongly denies.

"The people who are brave in this book are the sources and there is a lot of dark stuff in this book, but it's also again and again, I hope you found this a hopeful story about brave people saying enough! Enough," Ronan shared on The View earlier this week.

So what are readers learning in this book? Take a look at just some of the highlights below.

Stars' Juiciest Tell-Alls

1. Matt Lauer's Office Button: In the book, Ronan recalls meeting with Matt (before he was fired) who commended the journalist on his reporting skills. During one conversation, Ronan expressed an interest in getting back to anchoring at some point in his career. At the same time, the former Today co-anchor encouraged Ronan to write and report more. According to Ronan, when he left the office, Matt used a button on his desk to shut the door.

In an open letter, Matt denied any claims of a "button" in his office. "Despite numerous erroneous reports in the past, there was not a button in my office that could lock the door from the inside," he wrote in an open letter. "There was no such locking mechanism. It didn't exist."

Paula Lobo/ABC/Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

2. Meryl Streep and Harvey Weinstein: While investigating misconduct claims by Harvey, Ronan reached out to Meryl Streep before any publications posted their reporting. When he alerted The Iron Lady star that he was reporting on Harvey, Meryl replied, "But he supports such good causes." Ronan wrote that Harvey "always behaved around her." At the same time, Ronan wrote, "She knew him to be a bully in the edit room." Harvey has denied any and all allegations of non-consensual sex.

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3. Harvey Weinstein's Ties to NBC Bosses: There has been widespread speculation as to why NBC wasn't comfortable running Ronan's reporting on Harvey. In the book, Ronan recalls moments that suggest the Hollywood producer was close with higher ups including NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim. According to Ronan, Harvey sent an e-mail congratulations Noah on Megyn Kelly. Noah replied, "Thanks Harvey, appreciate the well-wishes!" He also received a bottle of Grey Goose.

In a letter to NBC colleagues this week, Noah slammed any claims that NBC obstructed or discouraged Ronan's reporting on Harvey. "NBC assigned Farrow the Weinstein story and actively supported it, editorially and financially, for seven months.  We encouraged Farrow to go back to Rose McGowan and get her to name Harvey Weinstein on camera, we encouraged him to get the full Gutierrez recording and to arrange for his editor and an NBC lawyer to meet with her, and we repeatedly encouraged him to get a victim or witness on camera, on the record," Noah wrote. "He was unable to do so during his time at NBC."

Lou Rocco/ABC/DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

4. Was Ronan Farrow's Safety in Jeopardy? In the book, Ronan admits that during his reporting, there were times where he wondered if he was being followed. He moved into a building where a wealthy friend's family owned several floors and had several layers of security. He also researched revolvers. "I'm very careful when I tell the story to not do it in a way that's woe is me. I'm not a journalist in Pakistan or in Russia or any of the places you wind up dead if you go against power, but it is true that even in this country, there are crazy, exotic, cloak and dagger tactics that get thrown at you if you go up against the wrong interest," Ronan shared on The View.

5. Woody Allen and Harvey Weinstein's Connection: According to Ronan, Harvey called Woody Allen asking him for advice on handling a scandal involving sexual misconduct allegations. According to the book, Woody shut down the idea of interceding and told the producer, "Jeez, I'm so sorry. Good luck."

6. Betrayed by Lisa Bloom? In his book, Ronan details his meeting with attorney Lisa Bloom where he said he was investigating Harvey. At the time, Ronan claims Lisa agreed to keep the information confidential. When Ronan found out Harvey was aware of his reporting, he asked Lisa if she told him. She denied the claims but suggested it may be a good idea if she connects with Harvey's team. When Ronan finally called Harvey for comment, he responded, "You couldn't save someone you loved and now you think you can save everyone." He also said to direct all inquiries to Lisa.

"In 2017, Ronan called me and asked for confidentiality, without disclosing what it was about. I agreed, and did keep that conversation confidential. Soon after, Weinstein found out from other sources that Ronan was asking about him. At that point I was able to reach out to Ronan and explain that I was working with Weinstein, and asked what the allegations were," Lisa shared in a statement to E! News. "Ronan would not divulge any specifics. I offered him the chance to interview Weinstein to hear his side, which Ronan declined. I was always truthful in the few calls Ronan and I had."