Farrow books sells across Australia despite legal threat
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Ronan Farrow's new book is being sold in Australia despite threats of defamation lawsuits that the Pulitzer-winning journalist believes led some Australian retailers to drop the bestseller.
"Catch and Kill" covers events leading to Farrow's New Yorker magazine expose of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct as well the reporter's account of his contentious divorce from his previous employer, NBC News. The detailed stories on Weinstein published by The New York Times and The New Yorker in 2017 shared a Pulitzer Prize and are credited with igniting the global #MeToo movement.
Farrow's book also makes repeated references to former National Enquirer editor in chief Dylan Howard, whose lawyers sent letters to Australian booksellers threatening lawsuits.
Amazon Australia and Booktopia declined to comment Thursday on their decisions not to sell Farrow's book.
A number of smaller Australian book retailers received letters from Howard's law firm McLachlan Thorpe Partners, but most did not.
Lawyer Andrew Thorpe, who signed the letters, did not respond when asked by AP who had received them.
One letter shown to The Associated Press said Howard believes the book contains "false and defamatory allegations." The letter warns that if the Australian publisher, Hachette Australia, is sued for defamation, "our client will have no alternative but to join you as a party to those proceedings as a distributor."
Hachett Australia spokeswoman Anna Egelstaff declined to comment on the legal threat but said the book had been distributed as planned.
"It's been distributed widely across Australia. It's now available in bookshops and some online retailers," Egelstaff said.
Farrow tweeted that some Australian book outlets had "caved and...