Actress Rose McGowan, perhaps best known for her role as Paige Matthews on Charmed, was one of the prominent voice in the Harvey Weinstein scandal. She had accused Oscar-winning screenwriter, Alexander Payne, of statutory rape last month.
Filmmaker Payne is well known for directing Sideways and The Descendants had made his debut in Hollywood with his 1999 cult classic film Election. He has now officially responded to the sexual misconduct allegations made by Rose McGowan.
Alexander Payne had firmly denied each of the allegations in a guest column for Deadline on Friday. He broke the silence in the matter after weeks following the allegations.
In the column, Alexander Payne lauded Rose McGowan‘s “commitment to activism and her voice is an important, historic movement,” but denied of statutory rape claiming that he “groomed” her when she was 15.
“Rose is mistaken in saying we met when she was fifteen, in the late 1980s. I was a full-time film student at UCLA from 1984 until 1990, and I know that our paths never crossed,” Alexander Payne wrote.
The actress had accused the Oscar-winning director of sexual assault on Twitter. She tweeted, “Alexander Payne. 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.”
And in another tweet, Rose McGowan shared a picture of herself at age 15 and said, “I just want an acknowledgement and an apology. I do not want to destroy.”
In response to the tweet, the director in his column inexplicably denied showing McGowan a “soft-core p*rn movie” he directed.” He wrote, “This would have been impossible since I had never directed anything professionally, lurid or otherwise. I have also never worked for Showtime or directed under any name other than my own.”
He also claimed that he met McGowan in 1991 during his first directing job. And when she auditioned for a “comic short (he) was making for a Playboy Channel series.”
“Although she did not get the part, she left a note for me at the casting desk asking that I call her. I had no reason to question how old she was, since the role she read for required an actor who was of age. We later went out on a couple of dates and remained on friendly terms for years,” he said.
“While I cannot allow false statements about events twenty-nine years ago to go uncorrected, I will continue to wish only the best for Rose,” Alexander Payne added.