WASHINGTON: Rose McGowan — one of the first actresses to accuse fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape — decried Friday what she called a pervasive culture of sexual misconduct in Hollywood and urged women to fight back.
“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’m just like you,” McGowan, 44, said.
They were her first public remarks since levelling her accusations against Weinstein in what has become a torrent of allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and rape against a man who had been one of the most powerful people in the film industry.
As the scandal snowballed, McGowan has emerged as one of Weinstein’s most scathing critics.
Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sexual activity with any of his accusers.
McGowan alluded with the F-word to President Donald Trump’s bragging in 2005 that he could grab women’s genitals and get away with it simply because he was famous.
“We are pure. We are strong. We are brave, and we will fight,” said McGowan, who raised her left fist defiantly as the crowd at the Women’s Convention in Detroit stood and cheered in support.
The meeting is an offshoot of the Women’s March that filled the streets of Washington a day after the Trump inauguration in January.
“Women grab back. We speak. We yell. We march. We are here. We will not go away,” said McGowan.
The New York Times has reported that in 1997 Weinstein reached a $100,000 settlement with McGowan, then 23, after an incident in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival.
That deal was not an admission of guilt but rather designed to avert litigation and “buy peace”, said the Times, which said it had seen the document.