Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of assault and harassment. Rodriguez worked with Miramax, and later the Weinstein Co. Here is his statement printed in full. A spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein had no immediate comment. A rep for McGowan declined comment. Today over 50 remarkable women have come forward to detail the horrors they endured. This saga has been a watershed moment in our country, and now because of the courage of Rose and others, countless women who previously were unable to stand up and speak out against sexual abuse can do so without fear.
I have not previously discussed what I knew about the incident that Rose suffered in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival. I never wanted to do anything that jeopardized a legal settlement she entered into with Harvey Weinstein. You would have been terrific. When I asked what she meant by that, and how could she possibly be blacklisted, she told me the horrifying story of what Harvey did to her seven years earlier. My first reaction was one of shock. People would have stood up for you!
I would have at least beaten the crap out of Harvey if I had heard that. To add insult to injury, she told me that she was blacklisted from even auditioning for any Weinstein movies. Just as I finished telling Rose this, I saw Harvey walking around the party! 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.
I knew right then that every word Rose told me was true, you could see it all over his face. I looked over at Rose. Her mouth was open, and her eyes were wide. Rose agreed, and the deal was done. I found it so commendable that she was putting the incident behind her and moving forward with her career.
I wanted to help. We had a plan, and more importantly, we had a mission. Casting Rose in a leading role in my next movie felt like the right move to make at the time — to literally make him pay.
To our horror, Harvey buried our movie anyway, and because we did not want to risk getting sued, we never spoke publicly about the matter. It would have been much easier on both of us if we could have just revealed why we were doing it. Even after 12 years, I will never forget sitting with Rose at that party and instantly getting inspired to create a bad ass female action heroine who loses her leg and transforms into a superhero that rights wrongs, battles adversity, mows down rapists, and survives an apocalypse to lead the lost and weary into a land of hope; all with a crackling, retro B-movie aesthetic.
At the time, it was the only thing we could do. With great understatement, I have to say that it was a long hard road to get that movie made. I am still haunted and disillusioned that after all the good intentions, immense pain and struggle Rose and I and so many talented people went through to make the film, that Harvey Weinstein won in the end by burying the movie just because Rose was the lead actress.
I hope that new legislation will result in NDAs to be legally null and void in situations where rape and assault have been committed and where power is so unequally distributed. Looking back over the years, I have wondered if I would have made the same choices, knowing the bleak outcome. We all suffered greatly on the film, and the journey ended up costing us all more than we ever bargained for. For me personally, it cost me my marriage of 16 years, my family, a large dose of sanity, and for years I have grappled with the sobering idea that maybe I made a grave error in standing up at all, when no one was even asking me to.
These past few weeks have given me new clarity and hope by seeing the tide finally turn, seeing Harvey finally on the run, and seeing all the brave women who have come forth with their own shocking and distressing stories of abuse. Everyone has to make a stand and take action. Speaking out is not nearly enough. Even catching someone in the act right away and calling them out as soon as possible is still not nearly enough. Once someone like Harvey Weinstein strikes, the waves, ripple effects, and the collateral damage that takes place are far-reaching, unstoppable, and unending.
We have to stop these actions from happening to begin with through education, harsher consequences, and zero tolerance. We must ensure that justice is served and demand cultural change in our country so that this never happens again.