Rose McGowan on her rape: ‘Part of you has been left behind. You just got killed’

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Rose McGowan is getting a new docu-series! It’s a five-part series which will air on E!. It’s called Citizen Rose, and it will document her life as an activist, and how crazy the past three months have been with the floodgates opening up on Sex Predatorgate. She’ll probably also use the series to promote her new memoir, BRAVE, which comes out this month. She sat down with Vanity Fair to promote the book, and these quotes are about what you would expect.

She will only call Harvey Weinstein “the monster”: “I’ve had this giant monster strapped to me for 20 years. So many women have been strapped around him. He ate so many of our souls that he couldn’t tell which way was which. He’s always been gunning for me. But that’s O.K.—I’ve been gunning for him, too.”

The book isn’t just about gunning for Weinstein. It’s calling out “all of them,” she says, the whole eco-system of Hollywood—the purveyors, the consumers, the media, the fans. Her argument is told via her personal story, which by any measure is extraordinary.

The rape: Weinstein (whom she refers to only as “the monster”) allegedly raped her during the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, where Miramax was presenting Going All the Way, in which the actress starred. As she tells it, her presence had been requested by Weinstein, in the top-floor suite of the Stein Eriksen Lodge, in Deer Valley, Utah. McGowan resisted, but she was told by a member of her management team that respect needed to be paid to the big man. McGowan has saved the hotel-room details for the publication of her book. But she tells me that the incident looms as the “B.C. and A.D.” of her life. “Part of you has been left behind,” she says. “You just got killed.” After she left that room, she was bundled into a car and deposited on the red carpet. “You still have the million-yard stare and don’t know what the f–k just happened to you.”

Robert Rodriguez used & abused her too. McGowan fell [for him] hard and fast, trusting Rodriguez enough to tell him about her experience with Weinstein. He proceeded to use the knowledge against her, she claims, as a tool for mind games, starting with a scene in which Tarantino, playing a character in his movie, attacks McGowan’s character. “I was in a backward world,” she writes. “I was losing my grip on sanity.” In what McGowan interpreted as the ultimate act of cruelty, Rodriguez “sold our film to my monster.”

Her goal now: “They built a motherf–king beast, and they built a motherf–king problem. I am that problem to all of them. He represents all of them to me. And that’s why he must be slayed.”

[From Vanity Fair]

At this point, I feel like a megabitch whenever I feel the urge to say that Rose overestimates her influence. I find her extremely sympathetic, of course, and I believe she was raped by a monster, and that monster then worked to destroy her professionally and personally. Weinstein was a cancer and I admire Rose for trying to be proactive, and trying to make her experience into a larger cause. But I also feel like… Rose is not the face of what’s happening. Can all of those complicated emotions coexist? I want Rose to keep telling her story. I want her to keep fighting. I want her to write, to live, to love, to create and thrive. And I also want her to know that what’s happening now is a lot bigger than her, and she’s not the face of it, nor is she the adjudicator of which people belong in the movement and what the movement stands for.

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34 Responses to “Rose McGowan on her rape: ‘Part of you has been left behind. You just got killed’”

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  1. Hh says:

    “I want her to keep fighting. I want her to write, to live, to love, to create and thrive. And I also want her to know that what’s happening now is a lot bigger than her, and she’s not the face of it, nor is she the adjudicator of which people belong in the movement and what the movement stands for.”

    THIS. ALL OF THIS. At times, Rose has positioned herself as judge, jury, and executioner (via Twitter) and it’s been concerning. Furthermore, speaking out and speaking up is both admirable and highly necessary, but sometimes Rose does it in a way that centers herself in the conversation. I hope her book does show the bigger picture as she describes it.

    The story about her and Robert Rodriguez is heartbreaking.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Agreed. I will be downloading her book when it comes out.

    • Bridget says:

      What I don’t get, though, is how he sold Planet Terror to Weinstein. It was already a Weinstein production. All of QT’s movies were.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        She framed the story differently at first, didn’t she? Something about how Rodriguez blindsided Weinstein with Rose’s casting? Or am I remembering it wrong? Or did Rodriguez frame it that way?

    • Dawn Costello says:

      I believe she does this from a place of anger. Its in stages, its shock, then embarrassing, punishing yourself, then no one believing you and taking his side is on top another basically rape again, this person is still in your area of life that you either give up and get out of, or try to fight to keep what you have, and then having this person stopping you from living your life, then finally your anger comes out. She still has a whole lot of healing to do.

  2. yanni says:

    Thanks, Kaiser, for putting into words what I’ve been struggling with when it comes to Rose McGowan.

  3. BaronSamedi says:

    I completely agree with your sentiments and feel exactly the same Kaiser.

    Honestly the title of her book alone makes me cringe a little. I mean I get it. The narrative of her own bravery is a story she needs to tell herself and I would never begrudge Rose her way of dealing with what happened to her.

    But her language and refusal to compromise in the middle of everyone else trying to figure out how to move FORWARD now is really making her more of an obstacle than a face of the movement.

    I have also read Robert Rodriguez’ reply to her story about his mindgames and find his arguments compelling. It is entirely possible he DID play mindgames with her anyway but he did convince me that Rose knew about Weinstein’s involvement with the movie from the start and that the scene was in the script from the start.

  4. Sarah says:

    Rose has to find a way to heal- and taking back some power, even if overblown in her head, may be the only way she can manage to heal.
    I personally cut her ALL the slack…

    • Megan says:

      I cut her all the slack, too, but I wish she would be more thoughtful sometimes. Her message gets lost in emotional outbursts.

    • HK9 says:

      You’re right. If she’s only calling Weinstein ‘the monster’ she’s still dealing with a huge amount of anger, and since anger is based in fear, it would be in her best interest to deal with that. If she let the anger run it’s course and burn away the fear, what’s left is power. When you speak from that place, the voice you use to communicate is much different. It’s not reactive but revealing and the perspective you have at that point is not only healing for you but for others.

      However, it’s been 20 years, and I’m not Rose, so if this is what she feels she has to do, then, she should do it.

  5. Nicole says:

    Kaiser you said the things I’ve been discussing with some friends about her. I feel for her esp since (via gossip) everyone knew she held in this secret for decades. I want her to continue to work through her issues that stemmed from what she suffered.
    But she has rubbed me the wrong way for a while now. The support of another rapist, the comments about the N word, the self importance just bothers me now. And I feel terrible for that but yea

  6. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I totally agree. I can understand and sympathize alongside an eye roll. Not one female owns this cause, movement, change, uprising. This is ours. This is you and me and my son’s girlfriend and her friends. This is the checkout lady at my Kroger and the traffic announcer during the morning news report. This is not the Rose McGowan show.

  7. reverie says:

    She did kick things off though, and it appears like she feels like the mother of this movement and why not let her continue as she sees fit? What is this? The “speak up but not too much” movement? She’s taking on the role of “face of the movement” because she’s afraid it will lose momentum and for a rape victim, returning to that dark place of silence is a horrifying concept.

    I was assaulted for four years as a child/pre-teen. I feel like the real me died and what’s left is something else. I feel like I’ve been carrying around the dead body of myself for years in some hysterical attempt to tell myself that I could fix her and vocalizing it was the only thing that made me realise it was time to let her go. I couldn’t achieve much in life until I accepted that I can’t fix her and that life is gone and ever since I have, I’ve literally solved every single problem in my life in less than 9 months. I’ve quadrupled my income. This is powerful stuff.

    Keep doing what you’re doing Rose.

    • CN says:

      Well said reverie. I’m with you on this. I don’t like the idea of Rose being policed on how she handles this. She was a lone and trapped voice for many years and that in an of itself is a huge thing.

      I’m so happy for you that you made a breakthrough and are forming a new life for yourself. I’m also very sorry for what you went through.

      • H says:

        Yes, it seems like Rose and Corey Feldman were screaming Into the wind for many years and no one listened. She has everyone listening now. I’m buying her book.

    • Anna says:

      Agreed. Let her keep going. I know this is Celebitchy so there has to be something to pick apart for it to be worth a post, but she is fighting her own fight and also opening many portals for others. I say more power to her.

    • MGM says:

      She lost me at defending Victor Salva, convicted of sexually molesting a 12 year old boy. This is a direct quote from her (from the medium article AvaAdore links to below):

      “Yeah, I still don’t really understand the whole story or history there, and I’d rather not, because it’s not really my business. But he’s an incredibly sweet and gentle man, lovely to his crew, and a very hard worker”.

      How is this not *exactly* the kind of crap that let people like Weinstein stay in the business for years?

    • B says:

      You go, reverie. I’m proud of you. And I agree with what you are saying regarding Rose. Not always possibly the best way to go about it, but going about it nonetheless. It took me a long time too–I can’t claim I am who I was before as it took well over half my lifetime to…make peace is vastly incorrect but I have no other words…so I will not judge a person who is working through her “revision”. She’s right. It’s like you are killed and you have no choice but to live as a shadow of yourself, second-guessing all you knew about the world, people, and life. And I am not sure the fear or suspicion ever go away. So, I will not judge Rose for her words.

      • MGM says:

        You really wouldn’t judge her for giving a pedophile a pass? I feel terrible about her pain, but this one’s easy–he molesting a child. Your pain doesn’t mean you get to not care about working with a known sexual predator so you can get a part.

        Or if you feel like your career is more important, you’ve lost the right to criticize Meryl Streep, etc. Sorry, but the movement doesn’t need hypocrites like her, end of story.

    • Bridget says:

      How did she kick things off though?

  8. Slowsnow says:

    Unfortunately not all victims are perfect and not all spokespeople are wise.
    She is a deeply disturbed person and I feel for her.
    She is unfortunate in the way she speaks, especially because she is on a crusade and wants to be the face of this movement.

  9. minx says:

    I always feel so badly for her…her face tells a tale.

  10. JustJen says:

    I’ve always wanted to like Robert Rodriguez, but there was something in my gut telling me he was not all that. It seemed so strange that he split with his wife, remained in business with her and took up with Rose, then that went kaput. His whole family- including friends that are like family- seem like a shady clump of yuck.

  11. Saskia says:

    Rose has been through hell. She was shown no mercy. She is right, they have created her. Today she is both Rose full of grace (to fellow victims) and Rose the terrible (to abusers, enablers and those who kept silent while benefiting). This is her time. The time of St Rose.

  12. AvaAdore says:

    While I agree you can have all the emotions when it comes to Rose, I have a big problem with her being the judge, jury and executioner via Twitter (as mentioned by a commentator above) when she has her own sordid history with working and defending Victor Salva, a known pedophile. Not only was it known, but he was convicted for it.

    There is no such thing as a perfect victim. I have dealt with my own instance of harassment and sexual assault and I too have made many mistakes, but I feel that this is on a different level.

    Here’s an article about it:

  13. Ally says:

    She deserves to be the face of this issue. She’s been vocal about it long enough.

  14. LooseSeal says:

    I’m uncomfortable criticizing Rose McGowan on her empowerment path. I’m a rape survivor and I remember when I first found my voice. I’d been nothing for so many years and all of a sudden I felt my own power. It’s a feeling you can’t describe. To be seen. I got unfriended on social media by a lot of people and scolded by my mother for being too vocal, but I’m forever grateful to the people who listened and appreciated both my pain and my empowerment.

  15. Jayna says:

    @Kaiser, I totally agree with you.

  16. Bridget says:

    Being a survivor does not make Rose a saint. She is a very complicated woman, with an awful lot of demons right now. Someone above commented on how intoxicating it was to finally find her voice after being silenced for so long, and you can absolutely see that here with Rose, whether for good or for ill. I hope she can get the opportunity to put herself back together that she so clearly needs.

  17. Twinsie says:

    Far be it from me to tell anyone how to express their pain, but I do wish she could see that by lashing out at everyone, she weakens the cause.

  18. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    I feel bad for what Rose has been through and internally dealt with over the years as a result of what Weinstein did to her. However when she starts lashing out at everyone regarding how they choose to publically comment on the assaults Weinstein has committed my empathy for her becomes less and less. She is angry about what Alyssa Milano, Meryl Streep, Ben Affleck, Alex Baldwin etc have said, yet she chose to take a payoff when the rape occurred and stayed silent. She is angry at all these fellow actors who kept quiet and the reality is, she kept quiet too and did nothing. But now she wants all this sympathy for what she’s been through. I do agree with the statement Alex Baldwin made when he said “it was for Rose McGowan to prosecute Weinstein and she didnt.” The fact she wants to stand up now and point fingers and yell at everyone else when she truly did nothing herself is tiresome.

    • Ksenia says:

      Agreed. She let her silence be purchased, and *now* she wants to put down OTHER people for, of all things, not speaking out? Any irony here? But most of all, I resent her for praising and working with a convicted child molester: reprehensible. Lecturing *other* people about the evils of sexual assault and the terrible price of silence (when she was financially paid for her own silence) and supporting known child molesters, I find her self righteousness insufferable.

  19. Chuck says:

    Rose is a revolutionist. Revolution is bloody. She is trying to dismantle the patriarchy, that’s why she is so dogmatic. She knows exactly how big this is.
    To the people who are lambasting her for not speaking out, thank you for propagating rape culture.