By this point, according to a Daily Beast report, Farrow already had an on-air interview with actress Rose McGowan saying she was attacked by a Hollywood executive (she declined at this point to name Weinstein on air, though she would later), and a tape from the New York Police Department on which Weinstein admitted to groping model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.
Former investigative producer Rich McHugh says NBC News displayed a "massive breach of journalistic integrity" and told him and Ronan Farrow to "stand down" on a report into Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct.
President of NBC News Noah Oppenheim shot back against McHugh's claims.
On Thursday night, the Daily Beast reported that NBC News' general counsel Susan Weiner had called Farrow and threatened to smear him - after he had left the network and brought his Weinstein investigation to the New Yorker - if he continued to pursue his reporting.
The former investigative unit producer described how unnamed executives specifically instructed him to cancel an interview with a woman with a rape allegation against the Hollywood mogul.
In addition to the alleged "threats" by Weiner and damning suggestions about Oppenheim's motives, the DB reports that sources say Weinstein's lawyer Charles Harder claimed in legal threats to Farrow that NBC had given Weinstein's legal team "written assurances that Farrow would not use any reporting he obtained about Weinstein during his time at the network".
"The assertion that NBC News tried to kill the Weinstein story while Ronan Farrow was at NBC News, or even more ludicrously, after he left NBC News, is an outright lie".
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Other journalists have come out publicly to support McHugh since the new stories broke Thursday.
"He was never told to stop in the way he's implying", Oppenheim added.
"We repeatedly made clear to Ronan and Rich McHugh the standard for publication is we needed at least one credible on-the-record victim or witness of misconduct", Oppenheim said.
NBC vehemently denies the accusation that it threatened Farrow.
Losing Farrow and the Weinstein story is just one of many reasons that Lack, who returned as head of NBC News in 2015 after running the news division in the '90s, has been under scrutiny of late. "And we granted him permission to do so". Farrow himself said the story should have been reported earlier and has praised McHugh as an "unsung hero of this entire story". Farrow reached out to Auletta after encountering road blocks at NBC, which led to the stories landing in the New Yorker.
Auletta, a mediawriter for the New Yorker, helped Farrow find a home for the reporting after he parted with NBC. HuffPost reported past year that McGowan "withdrew her permission for NBC News to use the footage after she'd received legal threats from Weinstein".