Actress Rose McGowan has been one of the loudest and most persistent voices speaking out against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of serial sexual harassment spanning several decades. McGowan claimed Weinstein raped her and later attempted to pay her in exchange for her silence.
But her outspokenness, and the media scrutiny that comes with it, has stirred up news of some unrelated legal troubles. On Monday, news broke of a warrant for McGowan’s arrest obtained earlier this year.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department confirmed to The Washington Post that it obtained a warrant for the arrest of McGowan for the possession of a controlled substance, a felony charge. The actress left behind “personal belongings” that “tested positive for narcotics” on a flight that flew into Washington Dulles International Airport on Jan. 20, police said in a statement to The Post.
The warrant was obtained on Feb. 1, and police said they have tried to contact McGowan so she can appear in court in Loudoun County, Va., to respond to the charge. Her name has also been entered into a national law enforcement database.
McGowan responded with an angry tweet, calling the warrant “a load of” horses‑‑‑.
“Are they trying to silence me?” McGowan said in the tweet
She didn’t elaborate on who might be trying to silence her, or what they would be preventing her from saying — but others seemed to fill in the gaps.
If McGowan “would have taken that million dollars in hush money I’m quite sure this wouldn’t even be a headline,” writer Ashlee Marie Preston said in a tweet, retweeted by McGowan adding the word, “FACT.”
“It’s not a coincidence that Rose McGowan” had this happen “after speaking out against Hollywood predators,” journalist Laura Loomer said in a tweet.
Radio host Stefan Molyneaux called the warrant “Shockingly transparent retaliation.”
It’s unclear if these tweets refer to the news coverage of the warrant, or the warrant itself — which was issued months before news of Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse broke.
The actress became one of the leading voices against sexual abuse in Hollywood after an Oct. 5 article in the New York Times alleged that Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, used his position to sexually harass and assault women he encountered through his work. McGowan was one of the women listed in the article.
A week later, she tweeted to Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeffrey P. Bezos that she was raped by a man whose initials were “HW.” She later confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that the tweet referred to Harvey Weinstein.
Through her lawyer, she told the New York Times that Weinstein offered her $1 million in September to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Instead of taking the money, she began speaking loudly against a culture of sexual assault ingrained in Hollywood. On Oct. 12, the same day she tweeted the rape allegation against Weinstein, her Twitter account was temporarily suspended.
She took to Instagram instead, writing, “TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE.”
Twitter quickly reinstated her account, explaining in a tweeted statement that “her account was temporarily locked because one of her tweets included a private phone number, which violates our Terms of Service,” and that “We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future.”
Since then, McGowan has continued to speak out about sexual abuse in Hollywood.
On Friday, for example, she gave a speech at the Women’s Convention in Detroit, offering examples of how sexual harassment is embedded in the movie business, such as the fact that, “writers in Hollywood use rape as a plot device. They can’t imagine a woman getting strong otherwise.”
She also said that there is no protection in place for women.
“In regards to Hollywood, we have no Title IX. There’s nothing” McGowan said, before adding that she wouldn’t be silenced.
“I’ve had monsters after me for years and years trying to eradicate me from this planet. And I will not go,” she said.
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