Actress Rose McGowan continued her accusations against two-time Oscar-winning director Alexander Payne with a social media post accusing him of “grooming” her for sex when she was only a teenager.
McGowan claims she has a sexual relationship with the Downsizing director when she was fifteen. The 46-year-old actress wrote, “for years I had thought a man I had sexual relations with was a sexual experience I had… I now know I was groomed.”
Last night I dropped a bomb of truth. For years I had thought a man I had sexual relations with was a a sexual experience I had. I now know I was groomed. I auditioned for him at 15. After my experience with him, I quit acting entirely until I was ‘discovered’ at 21. When that happened, I was like, fuck it, let’s do this. I even tweeted a congratulations on his Oscar win in 2012, that’s how deep in the Cult of Hollywood I was. It wasn’t until three weeks after the Weinstein story broke that I re-evaluated the situation. I feel badly about throwing a bomb into someone’s life and career, but I guess that’s social conditioning. I’m more sad than angry. Sad for 15 year-old me. Sad for the adult me that still thought it was a choice I made. Grooming is real. I want you all to know that it’s not your fault if you were mentally massaged into thinking it’s okay. It is not. I know this now. I would even go up to this director at events and ask him, with a smile, “remember when you had sex with me at 15?” And I would laugh it off. That is deep societal programming. If you are out there trying to have sex with an underage minor, you are committing a crime, even if the minor doesn’t know it. I was attracted to him, so I thought it was on me, but that’s not correct. I was not an adult. When it happened, I’d recently been left behind in Hollywood by a family member to fend for myself. The wolves preyed. Please recognize that if this has happened to you, the shame is not yours, it’s theirs. Give it back. Groomers are skilled operators and at 15, I was not aware of the warning signs. I named him on Twitter, but since Instagram is my softer side, I just don’t want his name here. Goddess bless us all, except for those that abuse their power. Here’s to freedom, yours and mine.
The post was the second social media message in which McGowan details their relationship. In her earlier post, McGowan said Payne was a “well endowed” man who she says, “sat me down and played a soft-core porn movie” when she was a teen. However, McGowan did not identify Payne in the earlier post. The actress also posted the accusation to Twitter:
Alexander Payne. You sat me down & played a soft-core porn movie you directed for Showtime under a different name. I still remember your apartment in Silverlake. You are very well-endowed. You left me on a street corner afterwards. I was 15. pic.twitter.com/mVqiN4S9NW
— Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) August 17, 2020
McGowan went on to lay the blame for her sexual relationship on Payne. “If you are out there trying to have sex with an underage minor, you are committing a crime, even if the minor doesn’t know it,” McGowan continued in her second post on the subject.
“I was attracted to him, so I thought it was on me, but that’s not correct. I was not an adult,” the Charmed actress added.
McGowan accused the Sideways director of dumping her on the street after having sex with her. The alleged incident so hurt her that she stopped acting until her 20s when she went back into the profession.
“I feel very badly for my 15-year-old self. I had auditioned for him. He took me home afterwards. I quit acting after that and then was discovered by Ilene Staple (a friend of Gregg Araki) 6 years later. It wasn’t until after the HW [Harvey Weinstein] stories came out that I reframed the Payne of it all. I had, for years, looked at it as a sexual encounter, not understanding what it really was. It was a grooming situation. The first time I’d been shown a straight porn,” she told Variety.
“He left me on the corner in front of Café Tropical in Silverlake to find my own way home,” McGowan added. “Grooming is real. I want you all to know that it’s not your fault if you were mentally massaged into thinking it’s okay. It is not. I know this now.”
She also hoped that her experience would help other young people who may be in similar situations. McGowan also said she is not interested in destroying Payne’s life. She only wants an apology.
I just want an acknowledgement and an apology. I do not want to destroy. This was me at 15. pic.twitter.com/XeNpsrpY4s
— Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) August 17, 2020
McGowan was also a prominent accuser of former Hollywood powerhouse producer Harvey Weinstein, and subsequently became a leading figure in the #MeToo movement. McGowan alleged that Weinstein raped her in his hotel suite during the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. Weinstein is now serving a 23-year sentence for sexual offenses in a New York prison.
Alexander Payne has not made a public statement about McGowan’s accusations.
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