Rose McGowan: 8 bombshell revelations from her new book
Rose McGowan isn’t holding back.
The actress, known for speaking her mind, takes things to a new level in her deeply personal new book Brave, which gives readers an uncensored look at her personal life — including her triumphs and tribulations.
From the emotional abuse she says she suffered on film sets to details of her alleged sexual assault at the hands of Harvey Weinstein and the truth behind her plastic surgery, McGowan exposes what she says is Hollywood’s exploitation of young actresses.
Here are some of the biggest bombshells from Brave:
1. She alleges Harvey Weinstein forced oral sex on her in a jacuzzi
The actress, 44, opens up about the moment the former movie mogul allegedly assaulted her in 1997 at the Sundance Film Festival. She had previously accused Weinstein of rape on Twitter but had not gone into detail about the alleged incident.
McGowan, who refers to Weinstein only as “the Monster” in the book, writes that she was sent up to his suite in Park City, Utah where she thought they were going to have a meeting about her blossoming career.
Instead, she says Weinstein pulled her into a room with a jacuzzi and took her clothes off, causing McGowan to freeze “like a statue.” She then writes that the producer sat her on the side of the jacuzzi and performed oral sex on her while he masturbated, according to the NYT.
“He moans loudly; through my tears I see his semen floating on top of the bubbles,” she writes.
Afterwards, McGowan says she told some people who “counseled me to see it as something that would help my career in the long run” and was allegedly told by a criminal attorney she wouldn’t be believed if she pressed charges.
McGowan says she heard Weinstein was calling people after the alleged assault and telling them not to work with the actress.
“It seemed like every creep in Hollywood knew about my most vulnerable and violated moment,” she writes, according to the NYT. “And I was the one who was punished for it.”
A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
2. She says she was first sexually assaulted in Hollywood when she was 14
McGowan says a man in his late 40s “jammed his tongue down my throat” and fondled her breasts when she was working as a film extra at 14 years old. She says she took job after her father demanded she pay $300 a month in rent.
3. She says Robert Rodriguez played mind games on her
In the chapter “Destruction,” McGowan recounts her affair with director Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, From Dusk till Dawn), with whom she worked on Planet Terror. She refers to him as RR in the book, but provides many identifiable details.
McGowan says she trusted Rodriguez, 49, and opened up to him about her alleged assault by Weinstein. McGowan claims he used his knowledge against her by including a scene in which Quentin Tarantino, playing a character in his film, attacks McGowan’s character.
“I was in a backward world,” she writes. “I was losing my grip on sanity.”
And in an extra blow to McGowan, Rodriguez “sold our film to my monster.” (Planet Terror was distributed by Weinstein’s company Miramax.)
In a statement to Vanity Fair, Rodriguez disputed McGowan’s account, while stating that he agreed “with what Rose is trying to do overall, which is continue to push for change both in our industry and beyond.”
4. She says she broke up with Marilyn Manson because she “grew exhausted” by the “lifestyle”
McGowan and the rock star were engaged for two years until they split in 2001. In a statement at the time of their breakup, the actress noted: “There is great love, but our lifestyle difference is, unfortunately, even greater.”
In her book, McGowan goes more in depth, saying she “grew exhausted” of their relationship. “I was really in love with Manson,” she writes, “I just couldn’t do the lifestyle anymore. I was too tired.”
Following their breakup, she went on to marry Davey Detail in 2013 (they divorced in 2016), while Manson, 49, subsequently was linked to Evan Rachel Wood and Dita Von Teese.
5. She says she lied to the press about the real reason behind her plastic surgery
When McGowan’s appearance changed in the late ’00s, there was widespread media speculation that she had gone under the knife. At the time, the actress explained that the change was a result of reconstructive surgery she underwent following a bad car accident.
But in her new book, she reveals that was not the case. McGowan now says her altered appearance was the result of a medical procedure gone wrong. During an operation to correct a lifelong sinus problem, she says, the surgeon accidentally punctured the skin below her right eye. The mistake forced her to have reconstructive surgery, leaving the eye looking “slightly pinched.” She then had surgery on her left eye to keep the look even.
“I told my publicists what happened and they said to say it was a car accident,” McGowan says. “Looking back, I don’t know why it mattered but I took that advice. And so when I was asked by the press, that became the party line.”
6. The infamous dress she wore to the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards had a purpose
McGowan made headlines when she accompanied Manson to the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards wearing a sheer dress that left her breasts and thong visible .
“Wearing the ‘naked dress,’ as I call it, was a big middle finger to pretty much everybody,” she writes. “It was a reclamation of my own body after my assault.”
Instead, she says, the dress was “misinterpreted and sexualized, which was the exact opposite point I was trying to make.”
7. She didn’t enjoy her time on Charmed
Despite the show’s success, McGowan left the WB’s Charmed feeling tired and defeated.
In her five years on the show (from 2001 to 2006), she says she only worked with one female director, whom she remembers being treated poorly by the mostly male crew. They “would snicker in disrespect when she would direct them,” she explains, adding that she now feels “horribly about not fighting for her more.”
At the time, McGowan writes, “I didn’t fully understand the dynamics of what was happening. My character was too busy talking to leprechauns to have the time.”
8. She says her first love was stabbed to death
After escaping an abusive relationship with an older man that began when she was just 15, McGowan writes that she found her first real love with a club owner named Brett Cantor.
Their relationship came to an abrupt end when Cantor was stabbed to death, McGowan claims. The murder was never solved, which McGowan writes, “I have been trying for years to remedy.”
Brave is available for purchase Jan. 31.