Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has struck back against one of his most vocal accusers: actress Rose McGowan.
Since The New York Times published numerous allegations of Weinstein's sexual misconduct, Rose McGowan has been at the forefront of the #MeToo movement, maintaining that Weinstein sexually assaulted her and raped her. She has also publicly called movie star Ben Affleck a liar, alleging that he knew of Weinstein's behavior toward her.
As McGowan has started her press tour to promote her new E! show and the publication of her book "Brave," Weinstein has produced evidence that allegedly disputes the actress' account of what happened at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997.
Ben Brafman, Weinstein's lawyer, says the encounter between the two parties in a hot tub was consensual and has offered up two emails from McGowan’s former manager Jill Messick and Ben Affleck. The emails were sent on July 26 of this past year, several months before The New York Times broke the story about Weinstein. As to why they were sent or why Weinstein asked for them, remains a mystery.
Ben Brafman's statement below:
As a general matter, Harvey Weinstein and his attorneys have refrained from publicly criticizing any of the women who have made allegations of sexual assault against Mr. Weinstein despite a wealth of evidence that would demonstrate 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.
Jill Messick allegedly said the following regarding McGowan's encounter with Weinstein: "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."
Ben Affleck also allegedly said: "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."
Both Affleck and Messick have issued no comment on the new piece of evidence. In response, McGowan erupted on Twitter: