Harvey Weinstein 'offered Rose McGowan $1m' to keep quiet
The Harvey Weinstein case continues to unfold, with new layers to the story and new accusations against the movie mogul seemingly emerging everyday. The case has exposed Hollywood's sexist culture, where accusations of sexual assault and harassment towards women are often overlooked and swept under the carpet or paid off. Since the Weinstein story was initially ran on Oct 5 by The New York Times, over 50 women have come forward to accuse the film mogul of a range of different assaults.
One of the first women to come forward was the actress Rose McGowan who accused the businessman of raping her in a hotel room during the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. At the time, McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein and kept quiet about the incident for 20 years. However, in a report in this weekend's New York Times, it has emerged that McGowan was offered more money by Weinstein just days before the original story broke.
McGowan has revealed that she was offered $1 million from Harvey Weinstein in exchange for her silence. The actress says that she turned down the money the day before the New York Times ran the ground-breaking story.
According to McGowan, someone close to Weinstein said that she could have the money if she would sign a non-disclosure agreement. She says that she learned over the summer that her original $100,000 agreement didn't include a confidentiality agreement and that she was permitted to discuss the incident in public. While McGowan says she was tempted by the offer, she eventually decided to refuse the money, as it would make her feel "disgusting".
"I had all these people I'm paying telling me to take it so that I could fund my art," McGowan told the newspaper.
The actress said that she went back with a counter-offer and asked for $6m but later told her lawyer to pull out of the negotiation. "I figured I could probably have gotten him up to three (million dollars)," she said.
"But I was like - ew, gross, you're disgusting, I don't want your money, that would make me feel disgusting."
Meanwhile, accusations against Weinstein dating back as far as the 1970s have also surfaced online for the first time. At the time, Weinstein was working as a concert promoter in Buffalo, New York, before moving into the film industry. According to Hope Exiner d'Amore, she worked at his company for a few weeks, where he raped her in a hotel.
"I told him no," she said. "I kept pushing him away. He just wouldn't listen. He just forced himself on me."
In another account from the 70s, actress Cynthia Burr says that Weinstein tried to kiss her in an elevator before forcing her to perform oral sex on him in a hotel hallway.
"It was just him and me alone," she said. "I was fearful I didn't have the wherewithal to get away."
Harvey's spokesperson has said "any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied", so no doubt that the case will rumble on for a long time.