Rose McGowan Offered $1 Million to Keep Weinstein Allegations Quiet the Day Before NYT Exposé
Rose McGowan told The New York Times in an interview on Saturday that she was offered $1 million in hush money if she signed a nondisclosure agreement that would have prevented her from speaking out against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.
The offer from “someone close to Mr. Weinstein,” according to the Times, came just as several women were about to come forward with their claims of sexual misconduct against the Hollywood producer in an exposé also published by the newspaper.
McGowan — who revealed earlier this month that she was allegedly raped by Weinstein — said she considered the offer, but countered with $6 million.
“I had all these people I’m paying telling me to take it so that I could fund my art,” she said. “I figured I could probably have gotten him up to three. But I was like, ‘Ew, gross, you’re disgusting, I don’t want your money, that would make me feel disgusting.’ ”
Within a day of the Times publishing the story that would eventually lead the mogul to seek treatment, McGowan, 44, directed her lawyer to pull the offer.
McGowan had previously reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein after a hotel room incident in 1997 during the Sundance Film Festival. The former Charmed actress told the Times she became aware of the fact that her settlement did not include a confidentiality clause.
In response to the lengthy accusations made against Weinstein, a spokesperson for the movie mogul previously said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
While she described to the Times the encounter that brought on the settlement, she declined to give too many details about what happened, other than to say her former manager, Jill Messick, told her to meet Weinstein at the restaurant in the Stein Eriksen Lodge at the festival for a 10 a.m. appointment.
When she arrived, she said the maître d’ told her to meet Weinstein upstairs in his suite, where she remembers passing by two male assistants who she said “wouldn’t look me in the eye.”
McGowan claimed she sat at the far end of a couch as Weinstein sat in a separate chair during a brief business meeting. On her way out, she said, he pointed out the hotel room’s bath tub.
“And then what happened, happened,” she said of the alleged sexual assault. “Suffice it to say a door opened and my life changed.”
After the incident, McGowan said she went directly to a press event where she fought back tears. She said she told Ben Affleck and Messick about what had happened.
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The actress said she was made to feel as though filing criminal charges against Weinstein would have been hopeless, and recalled being told, “You’re an actress, you’ve done a sex scene, you’re done.”
When the 2007 film Grindhouse came out — which was distributed by Bob Weinstein — McGowan said, “I was really lost at that point. I was damaged.”
On Friday, the actress made her first public appearance since her allegations against Weinstein became public, attending the Women’s Convention in Detroit.
McGowan told attendees, “I have been silenced for 20 years. I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I have been maligned and you know what? I’m just like you.”
“What happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in society and it cannot stand and it will not stand,” she said.
Telling the Times about a new friendship with Italian actress Asia Argento (who also accused Weinstein of sexual assault), McGowan said she is still dealing with the intensity of her emotions associated with the experiences she’s gone through.
“But I’ll tell you what I don’t feel anymore,” she said. “Despair.”