Rose McGowan labels Harvey Weinstein a ‘de-facto cult leader’ protected by Democrats

Actress Rose McGowan, right, with writer Afua Hirsch at the Edinburgh International Book Festival yesterday. Picture: Greg Macvean
Actress Rose McGowan, right, with writer Afua Hirsch at the Edinburgh International Book Festival yesterday. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Actress Rose McGowan – one of Harvey Weinstein’s first accusers – claimed the movie mogul has been given more protection from the Democrats than from the Hollywood establishment and compared Donald Trump to a cult leader in an appearance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

McGowan, appearing at the event to discuss a new book that details an alleged sexual assault by Weinstein more than 20 years ago, said she had “almost snapped”with the stress of going public with allegations about him.

However, she said the impact of the global #MeToo movement, which was sparked after allegations about Weinstein were published last October, had been “pretty great”.

McGowan told a sold-out audience: “It is pretty great that we have shown that we can cut off the head of power.

“It’s been a hard last ten months. I’m only coming out of it calmly now. It was a real nailbiter. The stress of it almost snapped me. I’m strong, but it was really hard. I felt I was manning the Titanic and refusing to let it sink.”

Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault or other inappropriate behaviour by more than 100 women, but has denied all the allegations. The storm of controversy that engulfed Weinstein prompted the Democrats to sever all ties with him and give his donations to women’s charities.

McGowan said: “I will say, Harvey Weinstein’s protection came from the Democratic Party far more so than Hollywood. He was their de-facto cult leader and star and thanked as many times as God at the Oscars.

“He set up this whole operation to do this. He tended to go for anybody. The scale, the sheer magnitude of it is probably in the thousands. He just f***** with the wrong person.

“I think part of bravery is thinking not too far ahead. I just wanted him to stop. I wanted the protection to stop. I wanted to stop being looked down on.

“The whole casting couch idea is just a myth, it’s more like a rape couch. Hollywood is notorious for it. The first case was brought in the 1920s against one of the heads of a studio. It goes on and on and on. I wish people were better and I hope people get better.

“But don’t you want to know who is on your minds? I can guarantee you have seen a lot of Harvey Weinstein movies. He was constant, he was omnipresent, he was everywhere.”

McGowan said the election of Mr Trump had “done us a favour, if we can survive him”.

She added: “He is showing us so clearly what racism is and what sexism is. He’s doing what they all did before, but he just says it. He let’s us all in on the secret. I would say Trump supporters, they’re largely a cult. He’s their leader, he uses trigger words.”