Ronan Farrow says the National Enquirer aggressively sought out nude pictures of the #MeToo journalist.
In his new book Catch and Kill, the openly LGBTQ journalist said the notorious tabloid solicited embarrassing pictures of Farrow while he was reporting on sexual assault allegations against President Donald Trump and entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Farrow said it became apparent to him that the American Media Inc.-owned newspaper was targeting him after the Enquirer ran a story about an uncle of Farrow’s who was convicted of molesting two boys, according to the Daily Mail. Farrow had no personal connection to that uncle, a brother of mother Mia Farrow and one whom Ronan Farrow had never met.
But shortly after the story published, “intermediaries began sending messages aggressively soliciting ‘dick pics,’” Farrow wrote. “When I failed to send any, the Enquirer published a complaint that I refused.”
Farrow also wrote in his book that he was threatened with an untrue story “implicating me and another journalist, who worked on a prominent story critical of AMI, in some sort of Brazilian sex romp.”
The account in Farrow’s book elaborates on a tweet Farrow put out in February, shortly after Amazon owner Jeff Bezos said the Enquirer attempted to blackmail him with intimate photos, as noted by The Washington Post.
“I and at least one other prominent journalist involved in breaking stories about the National Enquirer’s arrangement with Trump fielded similar ‘stop digging or we’ll ruin you’ blackmail efforts from AMI. (I did not engage as I don’t cut deals with subjects of ongoing reporting),” Farrow tweeted at the time.
For its part, AMI denies Farrow's story.
“Mr. Farrow's narrative is driven by unsubstantiated allegations from questionable sources and while these stories may be dramatic, they are completely untrue,” an AMI spokesperson said in a statement.
But notably, the Enquirer has admitted in the past to participating with Trump in an exactly the kind of narrative-squashing exercises Farrow takes to task in his book.
The Enquirer infamously paid off a Playboy model for an exclusive about an affair she had with Trump. AMI publisher David Pecker later admitted to prosecutors it had worked with the Trump presidential campaign to “catch and kill” Karen McDougal’s story “to prevent it from influencing the election,” as previously reported by The Guardian.