In her new memoir, Brave, Rose McGowan details her alleged assault by Harvey Weinstein during the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. McGowan previously publicized her allegation against Weinstein last October when the New York Times published a bombshell report about various sexual harassment allegations against the film producer. According to the Times' report, Weinstein reportedly paid McGowan a $100,000 settlement regarding the alleged 1997 encounter, which was reportedly “not to be construed as an admission” by Weinstein. In light of McGowan voicing her allegations in more detail in her book, Weinstein's attorney Ben Brafman issued a statement Tuesday denying McGowan's account, calling it a "bold lie." Now, McGowan has responded in a statement of her own.
McGowan's response, provided to Bustle via an email from her rep on Wednesday, calls Weinstein's attorney's statement an attempt to "slut shame" McGowan and to "malign" her.
"Yesterday's statement from Mr. Weinstein and his attorney Ben Brafman unequivocally proves a continued attempt to malign, smear and 'slut shame' Rose McGowan," the statement reads. "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."
Here's the rest of McGowan's statement in full:
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. 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.
On Tuesday, McGowan tweeted a USA Today article about Weinstein's statement, writing, "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."
In addition, McGowan retweeted a video showing Ben Affleck on the Today show in November, which is also referenced in her new statement. During that appearance, Affleck said, "I believe Rose, I support her." The retweet is presumably meant to hit back at a portion of Brafman's statement, which names Affleck, along with Jill Messick, who was McGowan's manager at the time of the alleged incident. (When Weinstein's statement was released on Tuesday, Bustle reached out to Affleck's rep for further comment, but did not receive an immediate response; Messick could not be reached.) Here's what Brafman's statement says about the two:
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, "he 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."
A spokesperson for Weinstein also issued a statement to Bustle, when asked about the book excerpts published in the New York Times, that "Mr. Weinstein denies Ms. McGowan's allegations of non-consensual sexual contact" and that "Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances."
In McGowan's account in Brave, released on Tuesday, the actor refers to Weinstein as "the Monster." She describes allegedly being sent to Weinstein's hotel room for a meeting, during which she claims Weinstein undressed her and allegedly performed oral sex on her while masturbating in a Jacuzzi. McGowan also writes that she, as the New York Times put it, "feigned pleasure" during the alleged incident.
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.