Rose McGowan isn't finished sparking controversy. The spitfire celebrity gave her first interview in months to The Hollywood Reporter, speaking just as frankly as ever. These days, she refers to Harvey Weinstein as only "the Monster" and she thinks that Weinstein paid the press to ridicule her for the past 20 years. She has, as per usual, a lot of opinions. McGowan has always had a lot to say — below, we'll break down the more confessional bits of her interview.
McGowan: "If I was Reese Witherspoon, would I be treated like I am? The answer is no. But [the press] feels I'm fair game. I think it's because [Weinstein] paid off the media for 20 years to savage me."
Following her admission last fall that Weinstein allegedly raped her in the '90s, McGowan became a source of fascination. Facing scrutiny, McGowan was rarely noncontroversial. In January, after McGowan criticized the women who attended the Golden Globes, Amber Tamblyn accused McGowan of "shaming or taunting the movements of other women who are trying to create change." Later, during McGowan's press tour for her book Brave, she received criticism for a bizarre appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as well as an argument that occurred at a talk at Barnes & Noble. McGowan told THR that she thinks the person she argued with at Barnes & Noble was a plant.
McGowan, for the record, has endured egregious gaslighting at the hands of Weinstein. He reportedly hired an Israeli surveillance company to monitor McGowan when he discovered that she was writing a book about him. So, the idea of "plants" is not unfamiliar to McGowan.
McGowan: "My take on [NXIVM] is that it's doing a very intense version of what a lot of people in Hollywood already do...It's just a more intensified version, so we can point at it and be like, 'That's so wild.' I'm like, 'Yes, but what do you do?'"
McGowan's father raised her in a cult called Children of God. This detail led the interview to NXIVM, a cult under scrutiny thanks to Allison Mack, a former Smallville actress who allegedly recruited Hollywood actresses for the cult. NXIVM reportedly used female members as "sex slaves" for Keith Raniere. Here's what we know about NXIVM.
McGowan: "I did not want my rape spoken about over breakfast cereal on the Today Show. I'd heard about Matt Lauer. You can't tell me the people at the top of NBC aren't aware. Come on."
In October of last year, both the New York Times and the New Yorker published exposés on Weinstein. McGowan spoke to the Times, but not the New Yorker. Here's where it gets sticky: Ronan Farrow, who wrote the New Yorker piece (and also the more recent exposé on Eric Schneiderman), originally planned to publish his piece with NBC. After NBC found the piece "not to standard," he took it to Condé Nast's prestigious publication. Here, McGowan claims that she sat for an interview with Farrow in January of 2017, but she rescinded her consent after giving it. She'd heard the rumors about Lauer, she said, and preferred to keep her story from NBC.
Lauer was fired from his role at NBC in November after NBC received a complaint against the host. Following his dismissal, multiple additional women accused Lauer of sexual harassment. Lauer denies all accusations of abuse and harassment, though, in a statement released in April, he agreed that he'd "acted inappropriately as a husband, father, and principal."
The situation gets stickier.
McGowan: "I pitted [Farrow] against The New York Times. I understand how men work and how Hollywood works and how power works. People are going to be much more interested in going down the line with something if they know they're competing with somebody else."
Why is it that two exposés on Weinstein arrived in our laps last fall? Well, apparently, McGowan machinated it all. She spoke to Farrow, then refused to let him publish her footage. Later, she gave her story to Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of the Times. This was in an effort — apparently — to ensure the story made it to publication.
McGowan did eventually give her story to Farrow.
McGowan: "One of the reasons I did Charmed was not just because it was offered — it was I studied. It was already a hit show when I joined and I realized it was going in all these territories where then I could keep a certain profile just enough to make it newsworthy when it was time. But society wasn't there yet, they weren't awake enough yet. [President Donald] Trump really helped. Thanks, Trump."
McGowan starred on the show Charmed from 2001 to 2006. She did so, she told THR, so that she would keep a high enough profile to charge Weinstein with his crime, eventually. She wasn't able to tell her story until now — well, 2017 — because society wasn't "awake" yet. And Donald Trump's presidential campaign and subsequent win fueled an awakening just large enough to knock Weinstein off his pedestal.
McGowan: "I was sitting right in front of [Barack Obama], and he would not meet my eyes, and then at the last minute, he asked for Naomi Campbell to be put in a photo with us... I wanted him to be better."