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Through his lawyer Ben Brafman, Weinstein has released emails from Ben Affleck and McGowen’s manager at the time, Jill Messick, as proof that McGowan’s recollection of events and passages calling them non-consensual were not true. Brafman wrote that while Weinstein had held off on “publicly criticizing” the dozens of women who have said he sexually harassed and assaulted them, he couldn’t do so with McGowan’s account when “at least two witnesses” could dispute it. (Weinstein has specifically addressed accounts by numerous actresses with more detailed rebuttals reserved for Lupita Nyong’o and Salma Hayek, who both wrote New York Times op-eds about their experiences with Weinstein.)
The email from Affleck was sent to Weinstein on July 26, almost two-and-a-half months before the New York Times and the New Yorker published their first bombshell stories on Weinstein. According to Deadline, it’s unclear if Affleck knew the full scope of what he was asked to respond to in the email when he sent it to Weinstein.
“[Rose] never told me nor did I ever infer that she was attacked by anyone,” Affleck reportedly wrote. “Any accounts to the contrary are false. I have no knowledge about anything Rose did or claimed to have done.”
In response to Affeck’s statement condemning Weinstein in October, McGowan attacked Affleck. In an account that also appears in Brave, McGowan said that she told Affleck about the alleged assault after it happened with Affleck responding, “GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT’ you said that to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie.” A month later, Affleck again condemned Weinstein in an interview with Today and added that he believed McGowan.
“I believe Rose, I support her, I really like and admire her tenacity and wish her the best,” he told Today.
Weinstein also released an email from Messick, who McGowan said she told of the assault after it happened.
“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,” the email from Messick read. “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.”
According to McGowan, Messick told her after the alleged assault that it could be “something that could help my career in the long run.”
This wouldn’t be the first time Weinstein has attempted to discredit McGowan’s account that he raped her. A New Yorker investigation revealed that ex-Israeli intelligence agents were attempting to get their hands on an upcoming book that had negative information about Weinstein while a female agent tried befriending McGowan. Weinstein has also used his own employees, tabloid journalists, agents, the circulation of publicity photos, and money to silence or discredit his alleged victims. Weinstein, who paid a $100,000 settlement to McGowan in 1997, also attempted to offer McGowan $1 million if she signed an NDA.
In response to the emails Weinstein released, McGowan posted an expletive-laced tweet addressed toward Weinstein.
Fuck you you fucking douche bag loser from hell. You will burn. You will be an empty suit coffin. You go fall off the planet you fuck. #RoseArmy BREATHE FIRE let motherfucker but https://t.co/tJq4M5lwiH— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) January 31, 2018
H/T The Cut
Michelle Jaworski is a staff writer and the resident Game of Thrones expert at the Daily Dot. She covers entertainment, geek culture, and pop culture and has brought her knowledge to conventions like Con of Thrones. She is based in New Jersey.