In October 2017, McGowan came forward with a dark secret—she’d allegedly been raped by movie producer Harvey Weinstein. After the Miramax co-founder’s alleged decades’ worth of sexual misconduct was exposed by The New York Times and The New Yorker, McGowan opened up about her experience, which allegedly happened in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival in 1997.
McGowan, who aceepted a $100,000 settlement from Weinstein, claimed she’d been largely shunned by Hollywood as a result of coming forward about the alleged assault to members of the industry. “I was blacklisted after I was raped, because I got raped, because I said something…but only like internally, you know,” she told The Observer (via The Guardian).
Since then, McGowan has become a voice for victims of sexual abuse, leading the charge against predators in the entertainment industry and beyond. “I have been silenced for 20 years. I have been slut-shamed, I have been harassed, I have been maligned, and you know what? I am just like you,” she told a crowd at the Women’s Convention in late October 2017, as reported by People. “What happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society. It cannot stand and will not stand.”