Rose McGowan chose to go public with sexual misconduct allegations against filmmaker Alexander Payne, telling Variety “it was time.”
The actress, who was one of the victims responsible for bringing down Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein, demanded an apology from Payne in a series of tweets on Monday, claiming he acted inappropriately with her when she was 15.
“You sat me down & played a soft-core porn movie you directed for Showtime under a different name,” she wrote. “I still remember your apartment in Silverlake. You are very well-endowed. You left me on a street corner afterwards.”
She added: “I just want an acknowledgement and an apology. I do not want to destroy.”
Representatives for Payne have yet to respond, but in the meantime, Rose conducted a WhatsApp conversation with Variety, in which she expanded on her tweets.
“I feel very badly for my 15-year-old self,” she said. “I had auditioned for him. He took me home afterwards. I quit acting after that and then was discovered… 6 years later. It wasn’t until after the HW (Harvey Weinstein) stories came out that I reframed the Payne of it all. I had for years looked at it as a sexual encounter, not understanding what it really was. It was a grooming situation. The first time I’d been shown a straight porn.”
McGowan has in the past spoken about an alleged incident of misconduct when she was 15, but until Monday she had never named names, simply calling the man involved “very famous” in a 2018 interview with investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, who was among those responsible for the exposes linked to Weinstein.
Asked why she made the allegation against Payne on Monday, McGowan told Variety: “It just came over me. It was time.”
Rose previously claimed Weinstein raped her in his Park City, Utah hotel suite during the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. The movie mogul was hit with a host of similar claims and charges of sexual misconduct in 2017 and 2018. He is now serving a 23-year sentence in upstate New York, after being convicted on the charges of third-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault.
Following her Variety correspondence, McGowan jumped on Instagram to address reports suggesting she and Payne were once friends, insisting they were nothing but “Hollywood acquaintances.”
She also went into more detail about her alleged encounter with the director, this time without naming him, explaining: “I feel badly about throwing a bomb into someone’s life and career, but I guess that’s social conditioning. I’m more sad than angry. Sad for the 15-year-old me. Sad for the adult me that still thought it was a choice I made. Grooming is real.”
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Last night I dropped a bomb of truth. For years I had thought a man I had sexual relations with was a a sexual experience I had. I now know I was groomed. I auditioned for him at 15. After my experience with him, I quit acting entirely until I was ‘discovered’ at 21. When that happened, I was like, fuck it, let’s do this. I even tweeted a congratulations on his Oscar win in 2012, that’s how deep in the Cult of Hollywood I was. It wasn’t until three weeks after the Weinstein story broke that I re-evaluated the situation. I feel badly about throwing a bomb into someone’s life and career, but I guess that’s social conditioning. I’m more sad than angry. Sad for 15 year-old me. Sad for the adult me that still thought it was a choice I made. Grooming is real. I want you all to know that it’s not your fault if you were mentally massaged into thinking it’s okay. It is not. I know this now. I would even go up to this director at events and ask him, with a smile, “remember when you had sex with me at 15?” And I would laugh it off. That is deep societal programming. If you are out there trying to have sex with an underage minor, you are committing a crime, even if the minor doesn’t know it. I was attracted to him, so I thought it was on me, but that’s not correct. I was not an adult. When it happened, I’d recently been left behind in Hollywood by a family member to fend for myself. The wolves preyed. Please recognize that if this has happened to you, the shame is not yours, it’s theirs. Give it back. Groomers are skilled operators and at 15, I was not aware of the warning signs. I named him on Twitter, but since Instagram is my softer side, I just don’t want his name here. Goddess bless us all, except for those that abuse their power. Here’s to freedom, yours and mine.