Rose McGowan accuses director Alexander Payne of sexual misconduct

The incident allegedly took place when the actress was 15 years old

Content Warning: The following article contains discussion of sexual assault.

Rose McGowan accused director Alexander Payne of sexual misconduct in a series of tweets posted yesterday (August 17).

The actor and whistleblower made allegations of an incident that occurred when McGowan was 15 years old.

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“Alexander Payne,” she tweeted. “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.”

See her tweet below:

McGowan posted a second tweet an hour later, in which she asked for “acknowledgement and an apology. I do not want to destroy”. She also added a black-and-white photo of herself, at age 15.

In a third tweet, McGowan clarified that she and Payne were “Hollywood acquaintances” at the time of the incident. She added, ” I’m so happy to be free of the Cult of Hollywood. It’s bigger than Hollywood though, it’s the system.”

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Speaking with Variety, McGowan said Payne had taken her home after she auditioned for him.

“I had for years looked at it as a sexual encounter, not understanding what it really was. It was a grooming situation. The first time I’d been shown a straight porn. He left me on the corner in front of Café Tropical in Silverlake to find my own way home,” she said.

“I feel extreme emotional exhaustion today.”

This is the first time McGowan has mentioned Payne by name. She had given an interview to journalist Ronan Farrow in 2018, alleging misconduct by a “very famous” Hollywood director and describing events similar to those in her recent tweets.

Payne, who directed such films as The Descendants and Downsizing and has an HBO series, Landscapers, in the works, has not yet responded to the allegations made by McGowan.

McGowan was one of the first women to come forward with rape allegations against mogul Harvey Weinstein in October 2017.

Weinstein then issued a statement calling McGowan’s claims “100 per cent false” but was indicted on rape charges in May 2018, which McGowan called “a new chapter for both of us”. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison in March 2020.

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