In a sign that the controversy over the producer Harvey Weinstein could engulf other people in the film industry, the actress Rose McGowan accused Ben Affleck of lying on Tuesday about his knowledge of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and assaults of women.
Ms. McGowan, in a tweet and a subsequent email exchange with The New York Times on Tuesday night, said she had told Mr. Affleck that Mr. Weinstein had behaved inappropriately with her.
Mr. Affleck, who rose to stardom with help from Mr. Weinstein on the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting,” had said earlier Tuesday that he was “angry” over Mr. Weinstein’s alleged abuse of women, but he gave no indication of whether he knew about it. “I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others,” Mr. Affleck said in a statement.
Hours later, Ms. McGowan addressed the tweet to Mr. Affleck accusing him of omitting information in his statement. She quotes him telling her that Mr. Weinstein had mistreated other women.
“DAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT’ you said that to my face,” Ms. McGowan wrote in the tweet. “The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie.”
Mr. Affleck has not responded to Ms. McGowan’s tweet. He did not respond to requests for further comment.
The Times emailed Ms. McGowan to confirm that she was asserting that Mr. Affleck knew about Mr. Weinstein’s mistreatment of her because she had told him, and that she was accusing Mr. Affleck of lying because his statement did not acknowledge awareness of Mr. Weinstein’s behavior.
“I am saying exactly that,” she replied to The Times. She wrote nothing further.
Mr. Affleck had been one of many Hollywood allies of Mr. Weinstein who remained silent following a Times report on Thursday about three decades of allegations of sexual misconduct by Mr. Weinstein and at least eight settlements with women. On Tuesday, The Times reported additional accusations by actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, and The New Yorker published harrowing accounts of women who told of being raped by Mr. Weinstein.
Mr. Weinstein has denied the sexual assault accusations as described in The New Yorker and he has characterized other allegations as “off base.” But he has also apologized for “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past.”
Mr. Affleck, in his statement posted to Twitter Tuesday, wrote that he was “saddened and angry” and that new reports of more serious assaults — which include accounts of forced oral sex — “made me sick.” But he did not say whether he knew anything about Mr. Weinstein’s treatment of women. Other actors, like Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, said they were unaware of the accusations, and Glenn Close said she had heard “vague rumors.”
In 1997, Mr. Weinstein reached a $100,000 settlement with Ms. McGowan after an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival, according to the Times report on Thursday.
SOURCE: The New York Times