Harvey Weinstein Denies Rose McGowan's Sexual Assault Allegation In A New Statement — REPORT
Following the release of her new book Brave, Rose McGowan has continued speaking out against Harvey Weinstein, who she alleges sexually assaulted her at the Sundance Film Festival in the '90s. Though the film producer previously denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, Weinstein responded to McGowan's rape claim in a lengthy new statement from his attorney, going as far as calling it a "bold lie." (Bustle reached out to McGowan's rep for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.)
UPDATE: On Wednesday, Bustle received a statement from McGowan's rep, saying Weinstein and his attorney's comment "unequivocally proves a continued attempt to malign, smear and 'slut shame' Rose McGowan."
The statement read:
"It is an affront not only to Rose but to the hundreds of women who have come forward with their stories of harassment, sexual abuse and rape perpetrated by Mr. Weinstein and those like him. This is a sad, pathetic old-fashioned sexist attempt to undermine obvious truth and the gaslighting will no longer be tolerated. The 'performance' is him and his complicity machine, and they are bad actors.
Mr. Weinstein has used his power to violate Rose in all too many ways, even resorting to proven espionage tactics in attempt to cover up his crimes. The statement released yesterday by the retrograde lawyer also clearly proves Mr. Weinstein was on a fishing expedition to target and coerce potential witnesses three months prior to when the first allegations of rape surfaced in the media. Furthermore, the email 'evidence' presented from Ben Affleck and Rose's former manager, Jill Messick, dated from July of last year has already been disproven -- by Affleck himself on the Today Show in a statement of support for Rose ('I believe Rose, I support her') in November of 2017 and by Ms. Messicks' then-assistant Anne Woodward as reported in the New York Times last October. These crimes have also been investigated thoroughly by the paper of record, the New York Times, as well as the New Yorker's incredibly detailed coverage by Ronan Farrow."
The statement continued,
"Mr. Weinstein's attempts to discredit Rose is part of his 20 year long campaign to silence her, clearly proving he IS the monster so many women have described him to be.
Like so many other #MeToo’s, Rose will continue to push back at ingrained thought and a corrupt power structure. She will not be commenting further. The truth can be found in her work: BRAVE the book, it can be found in the rawness of Citizen Rose and in the music, lyrics and emotion of Planet 9. It is time true voices were heard and it is time for the lies to stop."
EARLIER: In an email statement to Bustle on Tuesday, Weinstein's attorney Ben Brafman said, in part:
"As a general matter, Harvey Weinstein and his attorneys have refrained from publicly criticizing any of the women who have made allegations of sexual assault against Mr. Weinstein despite a wealth of evidence that would demonstrate the patent falsity of these claims. Watching the 'performance' by Rose McGowan as she looks to promote her new book however, has made it impossible to remain quiet as she tries to smear Mr. Weinstein with a bold lie that is denied not only by Mr. Weinstein himself, but by at least two witnesses, including Ms. McGowan's own Manager at the time who Ms. McGowan claims to have confided in the day after the alleged assault and an A-list actor Ben Affleck who Ms. McGowan claims to have also told about her encounter with Mr. Weinstein shortly after the incident she now describes as 'rape', but which in 1997 she described to her Manager as a 'consensual' act of sex."
Not long after the statement began to circulate, McGowan responded on Twitter. While sharing a story from USA Today about Weinstein's comments, she wrote:
"F*ck you you f*cking douche bag loser from hell. You will burn. You will be an empty suit coffin. You go fall off the planet you f*ck. #RoseArmy BREATHE FIRE let motherf*cker but"
This latest statement from Weinstein also ties in two other individuals — Jill Messick, who's reportedly McGowan's former manager, and actor Ben Affleck. The statement from the attorney continued:
"In an email to Mr. Weinstein regarding the encounter, Jill Messick says the following, 'When we met up the following day, she hesitantly told me of her own accord that during the meeting that night before she had gotten into a hot tub with Mr. Weinstein. She was very clear about the fact that getting into that hot tub was something that she did consensually and that in hindsight it was also something that she regretted having done.'
Ben Affleck expressed the following in an email to Mr. Weinstein, 'She never told me nor did I ever infer that she was attacked by anyone. Any accounts to the contrary are false. I have no knowledge about anything Rose did or claimed to have done.'”
(Bustle reached out to Affleck's rep for further comment, but did not receive an immediate response; Messick could not be reached.)
While McGowan previously alleged Weinstein had raped her (which the producer has denied), it wasn't until the release of her book that the alleged encounter was explained in graphic detail. According to the New York Times, McGowan refers to Weinstein as "The Monster" in the book. When arriving for a meeting in 1997, the then-23-year-old was allegedly sent to his suite instead of the hotel restaurant, where he allegedly pushed her into a room with a jacuzzi and allegedly pulled off her clothes.
After that, she claims he allegedly performed oral sex on her while allegedly masturbating. Per the Times, McGowan writes in her book, "He moans loudly; through my tears I see his semen floating on top of the bubbles." ("Mr. Weinstein denies Ms. McGowan’s allegations of non-consensual sexual contact," his spokesperson told Bustle.)
According to the Times, after the alleged jacuzzi incident, McGowan told her co-star Affleck what happened, who she claims said, "Goddamn it. I told him to stop doing that.” (The Times notes it's unclear what exactly this comment meant.)
As reported by the New York Times back in October, McGowan reportedly received a $100,000 settlement following the alleged incident at Sundance in '97. A legal document obtained by the Times noted the money was “not to be construed as an admission," but was intended to “avoid litigation and buy peace." While that settlement reportedly didn't include a confidentiality clause, according to a later piece by the Times, McGowan was reportedly offered more money to sign an NDA; however, she reportedly had her lawyer pull that offer within a day of the Times' initial exposé.
When multiple allegations against Weinstein first surfaced, he released a statement that read in part:
"I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed."
To date, McGowan is one of more than 50 women who have come forward with allegations about Weinstein, ranging from alleged sexual assault to harassment. (As mentioned previously, he's denied all claims of nonconsensual sex.) He has since been kicked out of The Academy and fired from the Weinstein Company.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.