Although Harvey Weinstein has stayed mostly silent since dozens of women accused him of sexual harassment and assault, the film mogul is defending himself following the introduction of Rose McGowan’s E! docuseries Citizen Rose. In a statement to Deadline, Weinstein attorney Ben Brafman denied McGowan’s claims she was sexually assaulted by producer in 1997, calling the actor’s allegations “a lie.” Brafman defended his customer by simply releasing two emails sent to Weinstein by which Ben Affleck and McGowan’s former manager Jill Messick contradict the actress’s claims.
As Deadline points out, the email out of Affleck was obsolete on July 26, almost 3 months prior to the New Yorker and New York Times released bombshell reports detailing McGowan’s allegations, along with accusations from a number of different girls in Hollywood.
This means Affleck might not have known the full scale of what he was responding to when he wrote the email, a full decade after the events.
In Affleck’s email he reportedly wrote:
“[Rose] never told me nor did I infer that she was assaulted by anybody. Any accounts to the contrary are false. I don’t have any knowledge about whatever Rose failed or asserted to have done”
This email seemingly clashes with a passage in McGowan’s publication Brave, where she describes telling Affleck, her co-star at Phantoms, about the alleged assault at the Sundance Film Festival. McGowan claims Affleck responded by saying, “Goddamnit! I advised him to stop doing this!”
Last November, after the reports came out, while he was dealing with his own groping allegations, 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.”
From the email Given by Weinstein’s Attorney, McGowan’s Supervisor at the time of the assault, Jill Messickwrote:
“After we fulfilled the following day, she hesitantly told me of her own accord throughout the meeting that night before she had become a hot bath with Mr. Weinstein. She was quite clear about the fact that getting into this hot tub was something which she did consensually and that in hindsight it was also something she regretted doing.”
Back in Brave, McGowan claims when she informed her manager of this encounter shortly afterwards, her manager “counseled me to see it as something that might help my career in the long run.”
McGowan received a $100,000 settlement from Weinstein in 1997. She was also allegedly offered an additional $1 million in hush money to sign up a non-disclosure arrangement, which she refused.