The actor, who has accused the film producer of raping her in 1997, alleges that a close associate of Harvey Weinstein made the offer in September this year
Rose McGowan has claimed that someone close to Harvey Weinstein offered her $1m to remain silent about her sexual assault allegations against the producer.
McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel room in 1997, told the New York Times that she had received the offer from an individual close to Weinstein in late September, weeks before multiple sexual abuse allegations against the disgraced mogul came to light. The actor allegedly had previously signed a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein in 1997 over the incident, but says that she discovered this summer that the agreement did not include a confidentiality clause.
The actor says that she initially responded to Weinstein’s offer with her own counter-offer of $6m, partly as a way of raising money towards paying for her career as a multimedia artist and partly as a means of torturing the producer. However, one day after the New York Times published an explosive investigation detailing decades of alleged abuse by Weinstein, she decided to reject the offer outright. “I was like – ew, gross, you’re disgusting, I don’t want your money, that would make me feel disgusting,” she said.
McGowan was one of eight women alleged to have reached undisclosed settlements with Weinstein in the New York Times article published on 5 October. That piece was followed by a separate investigation by the New Yorker, which documented 13 further accounts of alleged sexual assault or harassment by the producer. Since then, 82 women have come forward with stories of sexual assault or harassment at the hands of the producer, including, most recently, actor Annabella Sciorra, who alleges that Weinstein barged into her apartment and raped her in the 1990s.
While McGowan did not comment on the New York Times’ original report into Weinstein’s behaviour, she has since said that he was her alleged attacker. On 27 October, the actor made her first public comments about Weinstein as part of a speech made to the Women’s Convention in Detroit. “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 am just like you. What happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society. It cannot stand and will not stand,” she said.
Weinstein was fired by his own firm over the allegations and is currently under investigation by police in New York, Los Angeles and London. A spokesperson for the producer says that he “unequivocally denies any allegations of non-consensual sex”.