Last month, actor Rose McGowan accused Oscar winning director Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, The Descendants) of sexual misconduct that included statutory rape and showing her pornographic films when she was 15 years old.
Payne responded to McGowan’s accusations in a guest column for Deadline where he said that while he commends McGowan for her activism in the #MeToo movement, that her timeline of events is off. Based on McGowan’s current age, the events she described would have had to happen in the late 80s—a time that Payne claims he was studying at UCLA.
He continued, “What she has said about me in recent social media posts is simply untrue… Rose is mistaken in saying we met when she was fifteen, in the late 1980s. I was a full-time film student at UCLA from 1984 until 1990, and I know that our paths never crossed.”
McGowan responded to Payne in a Variety piece by saying, “F— him and his lies is my comment.” She continued with, “I told Payne to acknowledge and apologize, he has not. I said I didn’t want to destroy, now I do. Why do these men always lie? I will now make it a mission to expose him. I am not the only one.”
She also argued, “I want people that have watched his films to know his morals are in your mind, his thoughts have become yours...Like in his ‘comedy’ ‘Election,’ where the middle-aged teacher that fantasizes having sex with his young student, Reese Witherspoon. I want people to know Hollywood perpetrators show you who they are, their skewed view normalized. Men like Predator Payne, who profited from working Weinstein, must be stopped from not only assaulting, but must also be prevented from infecting the masses with their propaganda.”
Payne claims that the two didn’t meet until 1991 when McGowan auditioned for Payne’s directorial debut. He said, “Although she did not get the part, she left a note for me at the casting desk asking that I call her. I had no reason to question how old she was, since the role she read for required an actor who was of age. We later went out on a couple of dates and remained on friendly terms for years.”
Payne concluded, “While I cannot allow false statements about events twenty-nine years ago to go uncorrected, I will continue to wish only the best for Rose.”
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Header image courtesy of Variety.