How Harvey Weinstein Is Using Ben Affleck to Deny Rose McGowan’s Sexual Assault Allegations
Now that actress Rose McGowan is going into more detail about her rape accusations against Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced producer is refuting her claims. Weinstein is doing so in a surprising way: by getting actor Ben Affleck involved.
Here’s how Affleck is now caught up in Weinstein’s attempts to discredit his alleged victim.
1. McGowan has alleged Weinstein raped her
McGowan has said that in 1997, at the Sundance Film Festival, she had a meeting with Harvey Weinstein at his hotel. She was 23 years old at the time and had recently starred in Scream, which Weinstein’s company, Dimension Films, distributed. She was there for a screening of her movie Going All the Way.
When the meeting ended, McGowan says she walked towards the door to leave, but Weinstein pushed her into the jacuzzi and raped her.
Next: What happened after the alleged rape
2. Weinstein and McGowan reached a settlement in 1997
McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein in August 1997. In exchange, McGowan agreed to not pursue legal action. This settlement was posted online in an article on The New Yorker. McGowan told ABC News that she does not regret settling.
“I didn’t take money for what happened to me,” McGowan said. She added, “I took money because it was my only way of saying — literally my only way of saying, ‘I did not like this. I did not want this. This was not consensual. Get off me. No. Stand back.’ That was it. This was my only recourse.”
Next: How Weinstein is now responding to McGowan’s detailed account
3. Weinstein has denied McGowan’s allegation
McGowan had previously stated that Weinstein raped her, but she recently went into more detail about it in her memoir, Brave. After this new account came out, the producer responded and denied the allegation.
Weinstein did so by releasing a new statement through his lawyer. “Mr. Weinstein denies Rose McGowan’s allegations of non-consensual sexual contact and it is erroneous and irresponsible to conflate claims of inappropriate behavior and consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of rape,” his lawyer told ABC News.
Next: How Ben Affleck is involved in all of this.
4. McGowan says she told Affleck about the assault at the time
McGowan says that after Weinstein raped her, she immediately told Affleck about it. Affleck was also at Sundance at the time because he had co-starred in the movie, Going All the Way, with McGowan.
“I looked at [Affleck] and I must have had tears in my eyes,” McGowan said on Good Morning America. “I remember shaking and I said, ‘I just came from a meeting with him,’ and I said [Weinstein’s] name.”
McGowan says that Affleck responded, “God dammit, I told him to stop doing that,” implying he already knew that Weinstein was a sexual predator.
Next: The disgraced producer says this is evidence that disproves McGowan’s claims.
5. Weinstein releases what he says is an email in which Affleck denies knowledge
Weinstein is now using Affleck in an attempt to deny McGowan’s accusations. Weinstein’s lawyer provided Deadline with an email he says was written by Affleck. Affleck apparently sent this email to Weinstein on July 26, 2017, two decades after the incident, but months before the Weinstein allegations came to light in The New York Times and The New Yorker.
“She never told me nor did I ever infer that she was attacked by anyone,” Affleck reportedly says in the email. “Any accounts to the contrary are false. I have no knowledge about anything Rose did or claimed to have done.”
Next: What Ben Affleck has to say about this
6. Affleck has previously denied he knew about Weinstein’s behavior
Affleck has not specifically responded to these new claims in the dispute between Weinstein and McGowan. However, he previously suggested that he had no knowledge of Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct, though he has said he knew the producer was not a great guy.
“I knew [Weinstein] was sleazy and kind of a bully, but unfortunately, that wasn’t that uncommon,” Affleck said in November 2017.
After Affleck started suggesting he didn’t know what was going on, McGowan called him out on Twitter, and it was at this point that she accused him of saying that he “told him to stop doing that.”
Next: A second email that Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer provided
7. Weinstein also released an email allegedly from McGowan’s former manager
This was not the only email that Weinstein’s lawyer provided to the media. He also released what he says is an email with Jill Messick, McGowan’s manager at the time of the alleged rape. In this email, Messick reportedly said that what happened with Weinstein was consensual.
Messick allegedly wrote:
When we met up the following day, she hesitantly told me of her own accord that during the meeting that night before she had gotten into a hot tub with Mr. Weinstein. She was very clear about the fact that getting into that hot tub was something that she did consensually and that in hindsight it was also something that she regretted having done.
Messick accepted a job working at Weinstein’s company, Miramax, in 1997, not long after McGowan’s settlement.
Next: How McGowan is responding to these emails
8. McGowan says this is a ‘sad’ and ‘pathetic’ attempt to smear her
The actress has since responded to Weinstein’s attempt to discredit her allegations. In a statement released to Deadline, McGowan said that this is a part of Weinstein’s continued attempt to malign, smear and “slut shame” her.
She goes on to say the evidence Weinstein provided has already been disproven, pointing to the fact that Affleck said in November 2017 that he believes McGowan’s story. She also points to a New York Times story from October in which Anne Woodward, Jill Messick’s former assistant, says the actress was “extremely upset and did not want to settle” with Weinstein.
McGowan adds that these emails with Affleck and Messick prove that “Weinstein was on a fishing expedition to target and coerce potential witnesses.”
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!