Harvey Weinstein, who has stayed mostly hidden as more than 100 women have accused him of sexual misconduct, broke his silence to fight back against Rose McGowan’s claims.
During an appearance on “The View” Tuesday, the actress shared graphic details of the alleged assault during the 1997 Sundance Film Festival when she claims Weinstein pleasured himself while performing oral sex on her in a Jacuzzi.
The now-disgraced movie mogul paid McGowan $100,000 in hush money that year, a sum that was disclosed in the bombshell New York Times article that began the avalanche of allegations against the producer.
Weinstein, through an attorney, denied McGowan’s accusations, slamming 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,” Ben Brafman said in a statement to the Daily News.
Weinstein claimed that Jill Messick, McGowan’s manager at the time, had told the producer that the actress said at the time she “regretted” the hot tub encounter, but that it was consensual.
Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault
His attorney also provided a quote he claims was from Affleck, who McGowan says she told about the alleged assault while they were promoting “Phantoms,” a movie produced by Weinstein and co-starring Ben Affleck.
“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,” the actor allegedly wrote in an email.
The attorney’s statement to The News also included photos of McGowan and Weinstein from a 2005 amfAR gala, seemingly implying that the two were still friendly eight years after the alleged assault.
Weinstein issued a blanket denial of all accusations of non-consensual sex, but has only responded specifically to Lupita Nyong’o’s allegations until McGowan.