The Smear and Shades of Grey

From the fall of Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein to the political demise of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, there’s no shortage of sexual abuse allegations against famous men. The MeToo movement has liberated women to talk about long-tolerated misconduct. But it’s also led to whispers about the grey area between improper harassment and criminal assault. And questions about whether it’s now easier for people to get smeared by unproven — or even false— allegations. Our cover story is: Shades of Grey. It also covers the organized effort to smear WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange with unproven sexual assault allegations, but for political purposes.

FitzGibbon: If you’ve got two believable stories, you’ve got— you can take anybody down.

Trevor FitzGibbon claims it happened to him. His story begins in December 2015, when he ran his own progressive PR firm and got a fateful call from his company’s vice president.

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