Rose McGowan Talks Catt Sadler, "Time's Up" and Mounting Legal Fees

"I have to sell my house right now to pay legal bills fighting the monster," says the actress and activist who recently got her own E! series, 'Citizen Rose.'
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Rose McGowan

Rose McGowan is aware of the current complication at her new network. The actress and activist, whose Citizen Rose premieres Jan. 30 on E!, was asked directly how she felt about airing her documentary series at the same place where Catt Sadler recently quit over an equal-pay dispute.

"I will say that came about after I'd already done my deal," McGowan noted, addressing reporters on Tuesday afternoon at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. She seemed hesitant to speak too much about the topic, which was revived at Sunday's Golden Globes by several attendees on the red carpet, but told one reporter that he probably makes more money than his female colleagues. "It's so systemic," she added. "But, for me, I'm comfortable working there, because I know what I'm doing."

McGowan mentioned a conversation with Amy Introcaso-Davis, in which the E! development executive assured her that her mandate was changing things for women at the network. McGowan's series kicks off with a feature-length film and, in keeping with the actress' current public persona, focuses on her fight for social change for women.

"This is a global program, and we're going to be in 160 countries," McGowan said of the broad NBCUniversal launch. "It is a time of reckoning and a reset button. I really like the people at E!."

McGowan made one thing was clear before taking the stage in the Pasadena hotel ballroom: She was not there to talk about Harvey Weinstein, warning reporters as much in a relatively avant-garde (by TV critics press tour standards) video short. "I appreciate no mentions of the name we all know — or anything rude or combative, please," McGowan asked. "I'll happily answer your questions if they're respectful."

With one exception of an allusion to the defamed Weinstein, who McGowan has claimed raped her, questions did not veer into the nitty-gritty. But when asked about his alleged sightings in Switzerland, with its lax laws on sex crimes, McGowan scoffed at the term: "I wish they would look at him as a huge thief and punish him as such."

McGowan, who recently pleaded not guilty to drug possession charges, alluded to another legal problem. "I have to sell my house right now to pay legal bills fighting the monster," she said, adding after the panel that Citizen Rose cameras caught her arrest.

How McGowan feels about the Time's Up movement was another matter she wasn't entirely clear on. Her name was on the Time's Up letter, but it's not something she claimed to be very involved with.

"I was asked to lend my name," said McGowan. "Someone texted me, to add my name to letter to aid female farm workers. Next thing I know, I'm endorsing Time's Up."

McGowan demurred when asked what she thought of the all-black fashion plan at the Golden Globes, a strategy she openly criticized in the run-up.

"Not my thing," she said, smiling.