Rose McGowan’s book, Brave, came out yesterday. She’s also promoting her E! docuseries Citizen Rose. As you know, Rose alleges that Harvey Weinstein raped her in 1997 at Sundance and she was one of the first women to challenge Harvey, both publicly and behind the scenes, one of the loudest silence breakers who continues to call out systemic corruption and abuse in Hollywood. 

Rose made headlines yesterday after interviews with various media outlets, talking about how she tried to cope with what happened and reiterating that there were many people who knew, and did nothing, including her then-manager Jill Messick and Ben Affleck. According to Rose, she told Jill and Ben about what Harvey did to her the next day. And Ben’s response was to say, “Goddamnit! I told him to stop doing that!” 

Harvey Weinstein has been in seclusion but, periodically, he releases a statement through his spokesperson or his attorney to address a new allegation. You’ll recall, after Lupita Nyong’o shared her experience with him in The New York Times, Harvey seemingly singled her out for response, like there’s some sort of selection process in who he chooses to strike back against. And, of course, Rose is at the top of that list. 

Harvey, through his lawyer, calls Rose’s account a “bold lie” and a “performance”. He contends that she’s trying to “smear” him. Like his reputation is worth something. Please. Harvey also released emails from Jill Messick and Ben Affleck that he received in July that supposedly discredits Rose’s claims. This is what Ben supposedly wrote to Harvey – in July: 

“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.”

So three months before the New York Times and the New Yorker exposed Harvey Weinstein’s 30 years of sexual predation, Ben Affleck emails Harvey to let Harvey know that he did not know that Harvey raped Rose. What does that prove? 

Well, it proves everything. As Ronan Farrow reported in The New Yorker, Harvey Weinstein was privately investigating Rose, spying on her, paying counter intelligence specialists to follow her, find out what she had on him and what she was doing about it. He was also reaching out to all his associates and allies, making sure he could count on them to be onside, no doubt doing what he always did, which was to isolate his victims, intimidate them with his power and resources, and shoring up support for himself as a shield. Would Ben Affleck have ever emailed Harvey out of the blue to be like, oh hey, I was just sitting around my house today and it occurred me that I should send you a message about Rose McGowan?! 

Of course not. He had to have been prompted. Harvey had likely reached out to him first – and he’s not going to show us what that email looked like is he? F-cker. 

Back in July, Harvey Weinstein had not yet been disgraced. He still held a considerable amount of power. He was obviously still using that power to try to shut down Rose McGowan. Ben Affleck’s response to Harvey doesn’t exonerate Harvey. What it does is illustrate, once again, is how power is manipulated and amplified in favour of those who have it, and circulated consistently among the those who want to keep it. At the time, Ben Affleck couldn’t afford to piss off Harvey Weinstein – and he didn’t want to. Harvey was holding Ben in line. Harvey Weinstein has a lot of sh-t on a lot of people and he’s been in hiding, not to get better, but to figure out how he can use those bullets in a way that best benefits him. 

So all this tells us, once again, is what Rose McGowan was up against. And what she’s still up against. Even after all this, even after 6 months of predator reveals day after day, even now that they’ve all ostensibly admitted and accepted that Harvey was a monster, he still out here trying to discredit her. He still has the audacity to try. He still thinks he can. This is not a man who’s been humbled. This is a man who was powerful for so long, he can still operate off the power vapours that linger. Here’s what Rose McGowan has to say about that:

Brave by Rose McGowan is available now. And you can watch Citizen Rose on E!