Rose McGowan was one of the first women to come forward with allegations of sexual assault against now disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein last year, breaking her agreement to keep quiet and accusing him of rape.
And now, the actress — who has established herself as one of the most outspoken and prominent voices in the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct — is opening up about the toll those decades of silence took on her life.
In an interview with Vanity Fair published Tuesday, McGowan, 44, says her alleged experience with Weinstein, 65, split her life into “B.C. and “A.D.” compartments. “Part of you has been left behind,” she tells contributing editor Evgenia Peretz. “You just got killed…. You still have the million-yard stare and don’t know what the f— just happened to you.”
It happened, she says, during the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. There to support her film Going All the Way, which Weinstein’s former company Miramax was presenting, McGowan was called to Weinstein’s suite at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, in Deer Valley, Utah. Though she said she resisted the invitation initially, she was told by her management team that she needed to respect Weinstein’s request.
Vanity Fair reports that details of the rape McGowan claims occurred in that room are being saved for her forthcoming memoir Brave. As revealed by The New York Times in October, McGowan was one of eight women who reached $100,000 settlements with Weinstein after the alleged encounter. She remained publicly quiet about what allegedly happened with Weinstein (whom she refers to only as “the monster”) until late last year.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Weinstein’s attorneys have denied any allegations of sexual assault.
“Mr. Weinstein has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct,” his lawyers said. “There is a wide canyon between mere allegation and truth, and we are confident that any sober calculation of the facts will prove no legal wrongdoing occurred.”
Her book Brave isn’t just about Weinstein, but also about calling out “all of them” in the eco-system of Hollywood, she tells Vanity Fair. “I’ve had this giant monster strapped to me for 20 years,” McGowan says. “He’s always been gunning for me. But that’s okay — I’ve been gunning for him, too.”
“They built a motherf—ing beast, and they built a motherf—ing problem. I am that problem to all of them. He represents all of them to me. And that’s why he must be slayed,” she adds. “So many women have been strapped around him. He ate so many of our souls that he couldn’t tell which way was which.”
Vanity Fair‘s February 2018 issue hits newsstands nationwide Tuesday, Jan. 9. Brave is out Jan. 29.