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Harvey Weinstein claims Ben Affleck did not know about Rose McGowan's alleged sexual assault

McGowan previously claimed she confided in Affleck about the alleged assault

Jack Shepherd
Wednesday 31 January 2018 09:48 GMT
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At one point he appears to touch her nipple while suggesting they recreate a 'Janet Jackson' moment
At one point he appears to touch her nipple while suggesting they recreate a 'Janet Jackson' moment (Getty)

Harvey Weinstein has used an email allegedly written by Ben Affleck to deny Rose McGowan’s claims she was sexually assaulted by the disgraced producer.

Writing in her newly published autobiography, Brave, the actor reasserted claims that she was sexually assaulted while attending the Sundance Film Festival in 1997.

The day after the initial incident, McGowan alleges she confided in Phantoms co-star Ben Affleck, who allegedly replied: “Goddamnit. I told him to stop doing that.”

Rose McGowan: 'everybody knew' in Hollywood of Harvey Weinstein allegations

Affleck has never publicly declined the comments. However, Weinstein’s attorney Ben Brafman has since released a statement claiming Affleck sent an email denying McGowan reported the attack.

“She never told me nor did I ever infer that she was attacked by anyone,” the alleged statement from Affleck reads. “Any accounts to the contrary are false. I have no knowledge about anything Rose did or claimed to have done.”

The Justice League actor has previously spoken about Weinstein, saying he knew the producer “sleazy” but adding that wasn’t uncommon in Hollywood.

Speaking about McGowan during the same interview, Affleck gave his support: “I believe Rose, I support her, I really like and admire her tenacity and wish her the best.”

Weinstein’s lawyer also claimed to have a statement from Jill Messick, McGowan’s former manager, saying she knew the pair were together but that McGowan had said it was consensual. Read the full statement from Weinstein’s people below.

“As a general matter, Harvey Weinstein and his attorneys have refrained from publicly criticising any of the women who have made allegations of sexual assault against Mr. Weinstein despite a wealth of evidence that would demonstrate the patent falsity of these claims.

“Watching the ‘performance’ by Rose McGowan as she looks to promote her new book however, has made it impossible to remain quiet as she tries to smear Mr. Weinstein with a bold lie that is denied not only by Mr. Weinstein himself, but by at least two witnesses, including Ms. McGowan’s own Manager at the time who Ms. McGowan claims to have confided in the day after the alleged assault and an A-list actor Ben Affleck who Ms. McGowan claims to have also told about her encounter with Mr. Weinstein shortly after the incident she now describes as “rape”, but which in 1997 she described to her Manager as a ‘consensual’ act of sex.

“In an email to Mr. Weinstein regarding the encounter, Jill Messick says the following, ‘When we met up the following day, she hesitantly told me of her own accord that during the meeting that night before she had gotten into a hot tub with Mr. Weinstein. She was very clear about the fact that getting into that hot tub was something that she did consensually and that in hindsight it was also something that she regretted having done.’

“Ben Affleck expressed the following in an email to Mr. Weinstein, ‘She never told me nor did I ever infer that she was attacked by anyone. Any accounts to the contrary are false. I have no knowledge about anything Rose did or claimed to have done.’”

McGowan was one of the first named women to speak out against Weinstein following an exposé published by the New York Times. Dozens of women have since come forward with stories of their own. Weinstein continues to deny the accusations against him.

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