Weinstein accuser slams 'despicable' NBC News for insinuating women are 'not brave enough' to face TV cameras

One of Harvey Weinstein’s first accusers blasted NBC News on Tuesday in a scathing statement that called Peacock Network executives condescending for implying that women who came forward were “not ‘brave’ enough to go in front of a TV crew” when Ronan Farrow wanted to expose the now-disgraced Hollywood mogul as a sexual predator.

Emily Nestor – who was named in The New York Times’ original story that helped launch the #MeToo movement – responded to a lengthy memo that NBC News chairman Andy Lack released to defend his network’s handling of Farrow’s reporting on Monday night. Lack’s 10-page memo, complete with a cover letter and table of contents, fought back against allegations that he tried to kill the story.

I am immensely disappointed in, but not surprised, to read NBC's recent comments about Ronan Farrow's work on the Weinstein story.

— Emily Nestor

Nestor previously said Weinstein promised to boost her career if she accepted his sexual advances. She responded to NBC in a statement that was sent to Fox News.

“I am immensely disappointed in, but not surprised, to read NBC's recent comments about Ronan Farrow's work on the Weinstein story. Notably absent in the list of seven women (Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Lucia Evans, Emma de Caunes, Jessica Barth, and Sophie Dix) they claim were unwilling to be identified from The New Yorker story are two women who had been involved in Farrow's reporting while at NBC, Ambra Gutierrez and myself,” Nestor wrote.

Emily Nestor said NBC News’ memo defending the decision to punt its Harvey Weinstein reporting implies victims aren’t “brave” enough.

Emily Nestor said NBC News’ memo defending the decision to punt its Harvey Weinstein reporting implies victims aren’t “brave” enough. (2018 Patrick McMullan)

NBC News continues to claim that Farrow did not have a victim or witness willing to go on the record and the reporting “wasn’t fit for broadcast.”

Nestor said that Gutierrez was always willing to allow Farrow to identify her by name and even air a recording of her. Her statement contradicts Lack’s claim that Farrow did not have a victim or witness willing to go on the record and the reporting “wasn’t fit for broadcast.”

“Farrow and I discussed and I had tentatively offered either to attach my name to the interview in silhouette or potentially even reshoot the interview with my face visible. However, they were not interested in this interview,“ Nestor wrote.

Nestor also mocked part of Lack’s memo in which the NBC News honcho wrote, “We wondered then, and still wonder now, whether the brave women who spoke to him in print would have also sat before TV cameras and lights.”

"The implication that these 'brave women' were just not 'brave' enough to go in front of a TV crew undermines all of the dangers, uncertainties, and obstacles we faced in coming forward."

— Emily Nestor

Nestor wrote, “The condescension dripping from this phrase is despicable. The implication that these ‘brave women’ were just not "brave" enough to go in front of a TV crew undermines all of the dangers, uncertainties, and obstacles we faced in coming forward.”

Farrow's report ultimately was published in The New Yorker in the fall of 2017 and he won the Pulitzer Prize for his work earlier this year. Nestor added that she did film a spot for NBC in silhouette and had tentatively agreed to reshoot the interview in full-face if necessary.

“I feel forever indebted to Farrow for finding a platform from which my voice and the voices of other victims could be heard. Beyond which, I am even more grateful that he handled himself throughout with integrity, professionalism, strength, kindness, and honesty. To attempt to impugn his character or his conduct in his tireless work to publish this story is shameful,” Nestor said.

"Nestor is the anonymous victim of harassment referred to in the NBC News document and was contacted during the editorial review process by an investigative producer with two decades of experience… She took contemporaneous notes of their conversation and at no time then or since did Nestor tell NBC News she was willing to be named," said an NBC News spokesperson in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

NBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

Farrow has also responded to NBC’s memo, saying Lack included “numerous false or misleading statements.” The celebrity scion said he was “being blocked from further reporting” on Weinstein.

Lack has said there were no ulterior motives to punting the story, but there is widespread speculation that NBC News President Noah Oppenheim – who moonlights as a Hollywood screenwriter – didn’t want to upset a Hollywood powerhouse such as Weinstein. Others have speculated that Lack's NBC News had a “glass house” problem, as the network’s biggest star, Matt Lauer, was fired amid sexual misconduct allegations shortly after the Weinstein story broke.

Farrow, who is working on a book that will detail his side of the story, concluded the statement by saying, “There’ll be more to say at the right time.”

Fox News’ Matt Richardson contributed to this report.