Rose McGowan, who has accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, says that a month ago, “someone close” to the producer offered her $1 million to not speak out about his alleged sexual encounter with her.
More than 60 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. Seven of them have accused him of raping them. He has denied allegations of unconsensual sex, apologized for past behavior against colleagues and has sought treatment. Police in Los Angeles, London and New York are investigating claims against him and he has been fired from his own company.
The New York Times broke the story on October 5 about Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct, saying that over the past 30 years, he reached at least eight settlements with accusers. The newspaper had said that in 1997, he reached a $100,000 settlement with McGowan, who was 23 at the time, “after an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival.”
A week after the story was published, McGowan tweeted that Weinstein raped her. She did not say where the alleged assault took place. The actress told The New York Times in an interview posted over the weekend that she had learned this summer that the agreement did not include a confidentiality clause.
She also said that in late September, she considered an offer: She said that through her lawyer, someone close to Weinstein offered her $1 million in hush money to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
“I had all these people I’m paying telling me to take it so that I could fund my art,” she said.
The actress said she countered with $6 million.
“I figured I could probably have gotten him up to three,” she said. “But I was like, ‘Ew, gross, you’re disgusting, I don’t want your money, that would make me feel disgusting.'”
She also she told her lawyer to pull the offer within a day of the New York Times‘ October 5 article.
Weinstein has not commented on her remarks.
After the initial New York Times story mentioning her settlement was published, an attorney for Weinstein said in a statement that the article is “saturated with false and defamatory statements” that “No company ever talks about settlements, and neither does the recipient, so I don’t know how the Times came to this conclusion, but it is pure conjecture; the reporters have made assumptions.”
The story had spurred a New Yorker piece that told of three alleged rapes by the producer, which in turn spurred more women to go public with their own accusations against Weinstein.
McGowan also talked to the New York Times in her most recently about her 1997 alleged encounter with Weinstein. She said that her manager at the time told her to meet the producer at a restaurant and that the maître d’ directed her upstairs to Weinstein’s suite. She said she passed two male assistants on the way in and said “they wouldn’t look me in the eye.”
She said she had a brief business meeting with Weinstein. She said she sat at the far end of a couch, while he sat in a chair. On their way out, she said he pointed out that the hotel had a hot tub.
“And then what happened, happened,” she said. “Suffice it to say a door opened and my life changed.”
She declined to elaborate. The actress said she fought back tears as she left the hotel suite and went to a press event.