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The actress previously came out about a 1997 hotel room incident at the Sundance Film Festival, during which she says Harvey Weinstein raped her. McGowan and Weinstein went on to reach a $100,000 settlement. “Anybody who is attacked, you just leave your body, and everything happens so fast and so slow, because this wasn’t the plan,” she said during the interview. (Weinstein has denied the claim.)
McGowan, who made her first televised appearance earlier on Good Morning America, said she told “everyone” of the alleged rape immediately after it occurred but that “nobody cared.”
She recalled, “They got a woman to come in, who I have heard wants to apologize to me. She said, ‘No one is going believe you. You’re an actress. You’ve done a sex scene. You’re done.'”
McGowan went on to talk about the “slut-shaming” she experienced after taking the settlement from Weinstein, in addition to the harassment she received from his team of attorneys and beyond who tried to get her to remain silent.
She also called out Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake for their complicity — Affleck for Weinstein; Timberlake for working with Woody Allen — directly during the interview, saying, “I’m sorry to puncture your heroes, but sometimes these heroes need to be better.”
McGowan also touched upon the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements during the appearance, along with her own #RoseArmy movement. Though she aligns directly with #MeToo, she is hesitant about Time’s Up. “The intentions are good but I know the people behind it, it’s four CAA agents who needed good PR,” she said. “I hope desperately that they help these women.”
The goal of her #RoseArmy movement, she said, is to raise consciousness and to help humanity as a whole at being “10 percent better,” encouraging everyone to step back and look at the bigger picture. “The construct of men and women going at each other like this, it’s not working so well,” McGowan said.
Still, she retained the focus of her emotional interview on the reality of being a rape survivor.
“What people don’t understand is that part of you, a big part of you dies. Who you were dies,” McGowan said. “You have to get that dead body out of you. It’s really sucky that you got stolen and don’t get to be who you were. But you can reform.”
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg ended the interview by explaining that someone has to be first in order for things to change. “On behalf of a whole bunch of us, thank you for taking this hit,” she told McGowan.
McGowan has a new docuseries, Citizen Rose, which follows her life in the post-Weinstein scandal, and a new memoir, Brave, which is available now. Citizen Rose premieres Tuesday night on E!.
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