Rose McGowan is set to plead “no contest” to a reduced drug charge in Loudoun County, Virginia, after the actress and activist was arrested for possession of cocaine in 2017.
“The Commonwealth has agreed to reduce the current felony charge to a misdemeanor of possession of a controlled substance,” McGowan’s attorney, James W. Hundley, said in a statement to USA TODAY. “Ms. McGowan will enter a plea of no contest … when she appears in court on Jan. 15.”
As part of her plea agreement, McGowan will avoid jail time and pay a fine. (The actress could have faced up to 10 years behind bars if convicted.)
“Ms. McGowan has accepted this agreement in order to spare her family, her friends and her supporters the emotional strain of a criminal trial,” Hundley continued. “The agreement brings this ordeal to an end and allows her to focus all of her energy on what matters most to her – creating a better world.”
The “Charmed” alum was charged with felony drug possession after authorities said cocaine was discovered in a wallet McGowan left behind on a flight to Dulles International Airport on her way to the Women’s March in January 2017.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department issued a warrant in February 2017, but it did not come to light until nearly nine months later. (The reason remains unclear.) McGowan turned herself in to authorities in November 2017 and was placed under arrest.
McGowan’s lawyers have suggested the drugs may have been planted by someone working for disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in an attempt to discredit her for making sex assault accusations against him.
McGowan has become one of the leading voices of the #MeToo movement after publicly accusing Weinstein of raping her during the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. Weinstein has denied McGowan’s allegations.