Rose McGowan: Weinstein Trial Evokes "Dark Hope" in Survivors (Guest Column)

Rose McGowan THR Shoot 2017 - Wesley Mann - H 2020
Photographed by Wesley Mann

One of the earliest and most impactful voices to speak out on Harvey Weinstein's alleged abuses explains how it feels now that "the monster is having his day in court."

I've been asked to articulate what it's like to at last see Harvey Weinstein — a man who stole so much of my life — be tried by a jury. The answer: I hold a Grand Canyon of pain so deep that I have what feels like tundra frozen over me. I have lost any ability to trust, to let down my guard or to exist as a free woman. I am tethered to the monster and his accomplices.

Now that the monster is having his day in court, I think the most important thing that should be brought to the public's attention is this: Everyone deserves a fair trial, even Weinstein, but it will come at great cost to the women bravely testifying against him. The impending feeling of this trial is one of dark hope. Dark because we survivors are used to being abandoned by justice, and hope because we are human.

It recently occurred to me that I, and so many others, are survivors of Hollywood human trafficking by the former de facto head of Hollywood. When most people think of a trafficking victim, it's a tragic girl being held against her will in a sleazy motel room. My sleazy room was the presidential suite of the palatial Stein Eriksen hotel at Sundance. I had a 10 a.m. meeting with my powerful boss. I was a weak young woman, at least in his estimation. Make no mistake, this is about the wealthy and powerful eating the poor and weak.

I must admit, it does give me a bit of a thrill to know he's scared — as scared as I once was. The law is big and powerful when it comes for you. If he's found guilty, a miracle will have happened and faith will be restored to many. If he's found innocent, and it hurts to write that, he'll no doubt aim for a comeback.

Weinstein's empire of human trafficking did not exist on its own. How awful that this man not only destroyed so many, but had so many accomplices. I wonder what they see now when they look in the mirror? Would they now at least attempt to stop someone from abusing others with their power? There will still be those who will help him for sick reasons known to only them, but they will know no peace. The world has changed. The people who don't change with it will be shocked at the fury that will come their way.

Even a day in court is a huge achievement in this bent legal system. No matter what the outcome, we will no longer be silent. This trial gives hope to so many survivors. I am proud of what has been accomplished so far. Someday we will live our lives as free women, and I can't wait.

This story first appeared in the Jan. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.