Harvey Weinstein Uses Ben Affleck Email to Deny Rose McGowan’s Rape Allegation
Harvey Weinstein has been considerably quiet since multitudes of women have continued to come forward with stories of sexual assault and harassment against him. But now he’s resurfaced in light of Rose McGowan’s new E! docuseries Citizen Rose and her new memoir, Brave. Weinstein has issued a statement denying McGowan’s claims that she was raped by the former studio mogul in 1997, along with emails from Ben Affleck and McGowan’s former manager to dispute her allegation.
McGowan has previously spoken about the sexual assault with The New Yorker‘s Ronan Farrow and on Twitter, but she recounts it in detail for the first time in her book. She writes about being asked to meet with Weinstein in his hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival in ‘97 where he allegedly pushed her into a room with a jacuzzi, took her clothes off and forcibly performed oral sex on her while masturbating, according to Vulture‘s excerpts from the book. Afterwards, McGowan said she was taken to a photo-op with another actor from their film Phantoms. McGowan wrote that when she told her co-star where she’d just come from, the actor responded, “Goddamn it. I told him to stop doing that.”
While the actress doesn’t name the actor in her memoir, she identified the person as Affleck when she called him out on Twitter last October after he suggested he wasn’t previously aware of the Weinstein allegations. Then last November, Affleck told Savannah Guthrie on the Today show, “I believe Rose, I support her, I really like and admire her tenacity and wish her the best.”
On Tuesday night, Weinstein released a statement via by his lawyer Ben Brafman to Deadline. The statement says that while the former studio exec has “refrained from criticizing” the women who’ve accused Weinstein, “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.” The statement identified those two witnesses as Affleck and McGowan’s former manager Jill Messick. Then Brafman released an email sent by Affleck – notably, the email was sent on July 26, 2017, according to Deadline, months before the allegations first broke last October.
Ben Affleck expressed the following in an email to Mr. Weinstein, “She never told me nor did I ever infer that she was attacked by anyone. Any accounts to the contrary are false. I have no knowledge about anything Rose did or claimed to have done.”
In McGowan’s book, she writes that she told her manager and managing agency about the assault after it occurred. Weinstein’s lawyer however has shared an email from Messick that reads:
When we met up the following day, she hesitantly told me of her own accord that during the meeting that night before she had gotten into a hot tub with Mr. Weinstein. She was very clear about the fact that getting into that hot tub was something that she did consensually and that in hindsight it was also something that she regretted having done.
McGowan responded to Weinstein's denial on Twitter last night.
Affleck has yet to respond to Weinstein’s release of his email.