The actor Rose McGowan has said she was “blacklisted” because she “got raped”, and has vowed to chase down the individuals in the film industry who are “aiding and abetting” sex crimes.
On Thursday she publicly accused the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of raping her.
In a remarkable interview recorded in January 2017, obtained by the Observer and published for the first time, McGowan sheds more light on the allegation while explaining that she never reported the rape to the police because a criminal lawyer advised her that she was unlikely to win. “Also, I didn’t want his name next to mine in my obituary; his name doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as mine when I’m dead,” she said.
McGowan is one of more than 30 women who have come forward since the New York Times revealed sexual harassment and rape allegations against Weinstein going back decades. In a series of tweets last week she also accused Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, of ignoring her when she made the allegation earlier.
The accusations have raised questions over who knew about the details, with McGowan, 44, claiming in the interview that she was directly threatened after reporting that she had been raped. “They threatened [me] with being blacklisted. I was blacklisted after I was raped, because I got raped, because I said something … but only like internally, you know,” she said.
Following a New Yorker article last week in which three women accused Weinstein of rape, a spokesman for the Hollywood producer “unequivocally denied” the allegations.
During the interview McGowan also said that she had between 150 and 200 people she could subpoena to support her testimony and referred to a legal document in relation to the alleged attack. “I actually have a signed document from the time of the attack. It was settled for a very small settlement, so that’s an admission of guilt,” she said.
Weinstein reached a settlement with McGowan when she was 23 years old after “an episode in a hotel room” during a film festival, according to a New York Times article this month.
The star also suggested that she had other physical proof. “I had three surgeries on my wrist and elbow. I think that’s fair enough,” she said.
More broadly, the star of the US television series Charmed criticised the way allegations of sexual harassment and rape were treated by the film industry, in which the victims rather than the perpetrators were targeted.
“They blame the victim, they do all that shit. People are bred to be scared. They are bred to put fear into people and that’s what they do, they’re bred to put fear into the publishers and lawyers and they overreach it, and I’m going to do what I can and come out as hard as I can,” she said.
Although the interview took place ten months ago, McGowan correctly predicted that women in the industry would come forward with claims of rape, sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact. “You can’t really keep information any more,” she said, referring to the allegations directed at Bill Cosby, who faces numerous accusations of rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault and sexual misconduct stretching back to the 1960s.
McGowan claimed that a network of people hid the allegations against Cosby. “It was a whole cottage industry. Everyone who worked with him are aiding and abetting a crime. Those are the fuckers that I’m going after.”
She also revealed that the late US journalist David Carr had wanted to publicise the crimes against her, but she was waiting for the right time. “Everyone knows who I’m talking about: David Carr from the New York Times was trying to break my story for years, and I wouldn’t let him. I said, ‘It’s not time yet, the public consciousness is not there.’”
During the recording, details of McGowan’s forthcoming book – called Brave and bought by the UK publisher HarperCollins – were discussed. She said 85% of it had been written and that she was prepared to use false names if legally required in order to detail certain incidents in it. “My book is going to address a lot of these things, it’s not a ‘tell all’, it’s a ‘tell it how it is’,” said McGowan.
Though she was named in the New York Times investigation as an accuser, her tweets last Thursday were the first time she publicly alleged that Weinstein raped her. “I told the head of your studio that HW raped me,” she wrote in a tweet to Amazon’s chief executive, using Weinstein’s initials.
Three months before the interview obtained by the Observer took place – October 2016 – McGowan spoke about being raped by a studio head, but did not name Weinstein. Using the hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport, she explained that she never went to the authorities with the alleged crime because she received legal advice that she could never win the case.
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