Rose McGowan Accuses Director Alexander Payne of Sexual Misconduct

UPDATE #2 (9/4): Rose McGowan has responded to Alexander Payne’s denial of her accusation of sexual misconduct. In a statement to Variety, McGowan said: “Fuck him and his lies, is my comment. I told Payne to acknowledge and apologize, he has not. I said I didn’t want to destroy, now I do. Why do these men always lie? I will now make it a mission to expose him. I am not the only one.”

UPDATE (9/4): Filmmaker Alexander Payne denied Rose McGowan’s accusations of sexual misconduct in a guest column for Deadline. He claimed that he did not meet McGowan until 1991, and that their paths didn’t cross in the late Eighties — when McGowan would have been 15 — when he was still a full-time film student at UCLA. Payne also denied showing McGowan a “soft-core porn movie” she claimed he directed for Showtime under a different name, saying, “I had never directed anything professionally, lurid or otherwise,” adding “I have also never worked for Showtime or directed under any name other than my own.”

Payne continued: “Rose and I did meet years later, in 1991, during my first directing job, when she auditioned for a comic short I was making for a Playboy Channel series. Although she did not get the part, she left a note for me at the casting desk asking that I call her. I had no reason to question how old she was, since the role she read for required an actor who was of age. We later went out on a couple of dates and remained on friendly terms for years. While I cannot allow false statements about events twenty-nine years ago to go uncorrected, I will continue to wish only the best for Rose.”


McGowan has accused filmmaker Alexander Payne of sexual misconduct, with the alleged incident supposedly taking place when she was 15 years old.

Early Monday morning, August 17th, the actress tweeted: “Alexander Payne. You sat me down & played a soft-core porn movie you directed for Showtime under a different name. I still remember your apartment in Silverlake. You are very well-endowed. You left me on a street corner afterwards. I was 15.” The post was accompanied by a .gif of McGowan making an emphatic X gesture against a background featuring the word “No.”

In a follow-up tweet, McGowan posted a photo of herself at age 15. She said, “I just want an acknowledgment and an apology. I do not want to destroy.”

A representative for Payne did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.

The details in McGowan’s allegation against Payne are similar to those she mentioned when discussing an unnamed man during a 2018 conversation with reporter Ronan Farrow. McGowan said the unnamed man had “worked for my rapist” — referring to Harvey Weinstein — and “won Oscars” (Payne has won two Oscars, both for Best Adapted Screenplay, for Sideways and The Descendants). She said the man had shown her a soft porn movie he’d made for Showtime under a pseudonym, had sex with her and then left her “on a street corner.”

“I didn’t process that until two weeks after the [New Yorker] story [on Weinstein] came out,” McGowan said at the time. “I always thought of it just as a sexual experience even though I had not … I was in bed and I was like … I think that’s molestation? Is it?”


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