In a lengthy statement to Variety on Friday, October 27, the filmmaker, 49, shared his account of what McGowan, 44, told him about Weinstein, 65, and how that affected the production of the 2007 horror film. Rodriguez said he was “inspired” to cast McGowan, whom he dated from 2006 to 2009, as a “badass” character to get back at her alleged assailant.
After the Scream actress claimed to the director that Weinstein raped her in a hotel room during the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, his “first reaction was one of shock,” he said. “I recall clearly what I said next, ‘My God, why didn’t you say anything? People would have stood up for you! And where was your fiancé during all this? I would have at least beaten the crap out of Harvey if I had heard that.'”
After the alleged incident, McGowan spoke to a female attorney who “had told her that because she had done nudity in movies that no jury would believe her and that it would turn into a he said/she said case,” Rodriguez said. He went on to explain that McGowan said she signed a non-disclosure agreement after the alleged rape and was “blacklisted from even auditioning” for another Weinstein movie.
“I then revealed to Rose right then and there that I was about to start writing a movie with Quentin Tarantino, a double feature throwback to ’70s exploitation movies, and that if she was interested, I would write her a BAD ASS character and make her one of the leads,” he continued. “I wanted her to have a starring role in a big movie to take her OFF the blacklist, and the best part is that we would have Harvey’s new Weinstein Company pay for the whole damn thing.”
The trio later crossed paths at a party, according to the director. “I called Harvey over to our table, and as soon as he got close enough to see that I was sitting with Rose, his face dropped and went ghostly white,” Rodriguez recalled. “I said, ‘Hey, Harvey, this is Rose McGowan. I think she’s amazing and really talented and I’m going to cast her in my next movie.’ Harvey then dribbled all over himself in the most over-the-top performance I’d ever seen as he gushed, ‘Oh she’s wonderful, oh she’s amazing, oh she’s fantastic, oh she’s so talented … You two should definitely work together.’ And then he skittered off. I knew right then that every word Rose told me was true, you could see it all over his face.”
According to The New York Times, which was the first to report allegations against Weinstein on October 5, McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with the media mogul. She is among the dozens of women who have accused him of sexual misconduct in recent weeks. Weinstein, via his spokesperson, has denied any “allegations of non-consensual sex.”
Despite mostly positive reviews, Grindhouse was a failure in the box office. Rodriguez alleged to Variety that “Harvey buried our movie.”