October 5th 2017, New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey were preparing to go to press. They were leading an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein. Laura Madden meanwhile was about to undergo surgery for breast cancer. Little did they know, Madden’s account was about to become fundamental to Harvey Weinstein’s downfall.
You will have heard of the #MeToo movement and the celebrities who have come forward. However, 3,000 miles from LA, in Dublin Madden was the first woman to go on record for the investigation.
Now, Kantor and Twohey want to shine a light on the lesser-known women in their new book She Said. Jodi says: “We did bring some of those famous actresses on the record but women like Laura are the bedrock.”
Madden’s story starts in 1992. She was in her early twenties, living in rural Ireland when a film began shooting nearby. The crew advised her to look for work on Into the West [a film produced by Miramax, one of Weinstein’s companies]. Miramax hired Madden but in just one day, “dispatched to Weinstein’s hotel room in Dublin”.
After a colleague of Madden’s called Weinstein, he apologised. However, Madden still recalls “the overwhelming feeling of shame and disappointment.” In fact, she didn’t speak of the sexual assault again until Kantor got in touch 25 years later.
Harvey Weinstein will stand trial on five counts of sexual assault against two women in Manhattan next year. He denies all charges.
She Said by Megan Towhey and Jodi Kantor is out now, published by Bloomsbury.