After a warrant was issued for her arrest, McGowan turned herself into authorities on Tuesday and was booked for felony possession of a controlled substance before being released on a $5,000 bond.
Her arrest came after an airport employee allegedly found the actress’ wallet with two bags of white powder inside, which police say later tested positive for cocaine, on a United flight arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport on Jan. 20.
Following her release, the actress, 44, spoke to the New Yorker‘s Ronan Farrow.
McGowan explained to Farrow that she carried a slim card wallet with her on the trip to Washington, and had not taken the wallet out of her bag, which was allegedly left unattended when she went to the restroom mid-flight. “I had it in the side pocket of my backpack, and I left it on my seat as I went to the bathroom,” the Charmed alum told Farrow.
She then realized her wallet was missing when she was at baggage claim and tweeted United to help her find it, the actress said.
A detective later contacted McGowan and told her to come get her wallet, she says, but feared it was a fake officer as she believed she was being followed after she had tweeted several months earlier about being raped by a “studio head”. McGowan has since named Harvey Weinstein as the man who allegedly attacked her.
It was the same fear that made her not hand herself in after a warrant was issued, the star says.
“I was going to ASAP but then things started to get really weird. I knew I was being followed and that I wasn’t safe.”
McGowan’s attorney argues the drugs could have been planted while the wallet was missing and McGowan denies she uses cocaine, especially she says as she was attending the Women’s March where she “can think of nothing more opposed to that, energetically, that I would want in my body at that moment.”
“I will clearly plead not guilty,” said McGowan, who will be arraigned on Thursday.
McGowan – who has accused Hollywood producer Weinstein of sexually assaulting her – claimed the warrant was part of a conspiracy to silence her. “Are they trying to silence me? There is a warrant out for my arrest in Virginia. What a load of HORSES—,” she tweeted on Oct. 30.
A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”