After months of silence, Harvey Weinstein has released a statement through his attorney, Ben Brafman, denying the accusations of sexual assault made against him by actress and activist Rose McGowan.
“As a general matter, Harvey Weinstein and his attorneys have refrained from publicly criticizing any of the women who have made allegations of sexual assault against Mr. Weinstein despite a wealth of evidence that would demonstrate the patent falsity of these claims,” the statement reads.
“Watching the ‘performance’ by Rose McGowan as she looks to promote her new book however, has made it impossible to remain quiet as she tries to smear Mr. Weinstein with a bold lie that is denied not only by Mr. Weinstein himself, but by at least two witnesses, including Ms. McGowan’s own Manager at the time who Ms. McGowan claims to have confided in the day after the alleged assault and an A-list actor Ben Affleck who Ms. McGowan claims to have also told about her encounter with Mr. Weinstein shortly after the incident she now describes as “rape”, but which in 1997 she described to her Manager as a ‘consensual’ act of sex.”
Weinstein’s statement also includes quotes attributed to Ben Affleck, and to McGowan’s then-manager Jill Messick, that support his version of events. The statement does not disclose the circumstances under which Weinstein obtained these quotes, or when they were made, but a representative for Weinstein told TheWrap the quotes date from 2017.
Representatives for Affleck and Messick did not immediately respond to a request from TheWrap to confirm the veracity, origin, and timing of the quotes attributed to them.
McGowan said she was sexually assaulted by the disgraced mogul in his hotel room in Park City, Utah, during 1997’s Sundance Film Festival. Earlier Tuesday, she appeared on “Good Morning America” to promote her new book “Brave,” during which time she described how she says she felt during the encounter.
“You float up above your body because you’re trying to figure out — my brain was actually literally when he grabbed me I was thinking, ‘Oh, I hope I still have lipstick on for the camera,’ so your brain is in another place and all of a sudden your body is like ‘what, what, what’ and this is not what I expected at 10 in the morning,” the actress told Robin Roberts.
Although she describes the incident in detail in the book, she never mentions Weinstein’s name, which she said on “GMA” is because it’s “an ugly name.”
In October, McGowan wrote that Weinstein raped her on Twitter after she was named in an explosive New York Times story along with other women who alleged the movie mogul committed sexual assault. The New York Times later reported that Weinstein paid Gowan a $100,000 settlement to keep quiet about the 1997 allegations. Weinstein has denied all allegations of criminal wrongdoing.
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