The Israeli spy who worked to cover up the sexual violence of media mogul Harvey Weinstein is actually 30-year-old Israeli Stella Penn Pechanac, the Daily Mail claims in a report on Wednesday.
Penn, who reportedly worked as an operative for intelligence agency Black Cube, duped actress Rose McGowan into meeting her and disclosing her memoirs. She met with McGowan under the alias "Diana Filip," allegedly a women's rights advocate from London, who worked as an investor at a firm called Rueben Capital Partners. She reportedly met with McGowan multiple times in New York and Los Angeles.
An online biography says Penn immigrated to Israel from Yugoslavia in 1993. She served as an officer in the Israel Air Force and studied acting in Tel Aviv, graduating in 2010 from the Nissan Nativ acting studio.
Black Cube is a privately-held intelligence firm run by former members of the Mossad, the Israeli spy agency.
Penn used a different alias, "Anna," when she posed as a source to New York reporter Ben Wallace while he was working on a story about Weinstein, the Daily Mail said.
Even after the initial story of Weinstein's myriad sexual assaults broke, "Diana Filip" continued to contact McGowan. In an e-mail, the operative wrote "Hi Love, How are you feeling?... Just wanted to tell you how brave I think you are."
When she heard the news of Diana's false identity, McGowan told the New Yorker, "Oh my God. ‘Reuben Capital. Diana Filip. No fucking way."
The New Yorker reported earlier this week that Weinstein hired business intelligence firms, including Black Cube, to compile psychological profiles of his accusers while digging dirt on their personal histories in an attempt to scuttle reports of his sexual abuse.
David Boies, Weinstein's lawyer, offered Black Cube financial incentives for preventing the articles' publication and obtaining drafts of McGowan's books. Boies confirmed hiring the firm to the New Yorker.
On Tuesday Israel's Channel 2 reported that former Prime Minister Ehud Barak gave Weinstein information that facilitated his hiring of Black Cube.
Black Cube was founded in 2010 by Yanus and Dan Zorella, who served in an Israeli intelligence unit. Black Cube describes its employees as “a select group of veterans of the elite Israeli intelligence community, whose diverse experience in information gathering, analysis, research, and field operations." Most of the firm’s business is in supporting legal dfisputes between large business entities, when one side is trying to collect intelligence on the other side in an attempt to win the case.
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