Rose McGowan on Harvey Weinstein verdict: ‘I can breathe now’

Rose McGowan attends the Pam Hogg Show during London Fashion Week September 2018 at Freemasons Hall on September 14, 2018 in London, England. Tim Whitby/BFC/Getty Images

NOTE: This article contains disturbing and sexually explicit language. Please read at your own discretion.

Rose McGowan said she “can breathe now” following the guilty verdict against Harvey Weinstein.

The prominent Weinstein accuser wrote an essay for The Hollywood Reporter following the disgraced Hollywood producer’s conviction of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual assault in a New York Court on Monday.

Click to play video: 'Harvey Weinstein found guilty on 2 out of 5 counts'
Harvey Weinstein found guilty on 2 out of 5 counts

“I can breathe now,” she wrote. “Obviously, I breathe a minimal amount to stay alive but I’ve gotten used to living with such a weight on me. Now I feel that I can breathe for the first time in years.”

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McGowan, who claims Weinstein raped her in 1997, said she hopes “this will be the first day of the rest of my life as I attempt to see what life would have been like without someone trying to kill me or paint me as an insane person.”

“I had an entire career before. I do a f–k ton of creative things besides talk about stupid Harvey Weinstein.”

Click to play video: 'Harvey Weinstein being treated at Bellevue Hospital in New York City following sexual assault conviction'
Harvey Weinstein being treated at Bellevue Hospital in New York City following sexual assault conviction

McGowan lamented that “justice is a privilege.”

“That’s a really twisted thing to say. Justice should be the norm, not a 2 per cent conviction rate on rape cases,” she wrote.

“What I do know is that tonight, a predator is off the streets. Recently, I’ve been watching new TV shows and movies and I’ll see an actress and say to myself, ‘Wow, he would have raped her. That’s totally his type.'”

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“Now, I get to hope to God that these women will get to live their lives, have careers and do everything they want to do and achieve what they want to achieve,” McGowan added. “And I get to be centered and free. That’s my gift.”

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McGowan also said “God bless the women who testified” at Weinstein’s trial, including Annabella Sciorra, Miriam Haley, Jessica Mann, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff and Lauren Young.

Click to play video: 'Actor Annabella Sciorra testifies, key prosecution witness in Weinstein rape trial'
Actor Annabella Sciorra testifies, key prosecution witness in Weinstein rape trial

“I can imagine what it felt like for them to be on that stand because, essentially, it’s like standing there naked in front of the world, allowing people to put tiny pinpricks in you as they try to pull the skin off,” McGowan wrote.

“Death by a thousand cuts during a trial that was reality versus gaslighting. It’s brutal and harrowing but they were brave.”

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McGowan said Weinstein’s lawyer, Donna Rotunno, came at the women who testified “with this kind of wink to the incel movement and by using the same trigger words as the alt-right dudes.”

“These women had to literally look at the belly of the beast while the beast that hurt them is standing behind the beast,” she added.

McGowan also spoke to Good Morning Britain after the verdict and revealed that she had expected Weinstein to walk free.

“This is a huge victory for all of us who have ever been hurt… It’s a huge moment and it’s one, I have to honestly say, I thought he was going to be exonerated,” she said in the interview.

“I never really had hope, you see. I realized that the other day, when someone asked me, ‘Do you have hope he will be found guilty?’ And I realized, the last time I actually had hope was the moment before I was raped by him. After that it became survival and that it became this kind of battle in this huge war.”

McGowan said the jury was not the reason she didn’t have hope.

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“I’m very grateful to that jury for getting a lot further than juries get in rape cases, certainly. There’s something so profound about the amount of corruption behind the scenes… It’s an extraordinary moment, it’s a watershed moment.”

McGowan said Weinstein “could be potentially one of the biggest serial rapists in history because he had a full machine set up only to rape.”

“Movies, that was his living, but there was a rape factory — that’s what the business was behind the scenes… It’s the kind of human trafficking that goes on. It goes on in Hollywood and the rest of the world… It’s in high levels of society and low levels.”

Click to play video: 'Harvey Weinstein accusers say upcoming Los Angeles case will continue the fight'
Harvey Weinstein accusers say upcoming Los Angeles case will continue the fight

McGowan also revealed that she wondered if Weinstein would “hire a hitman” to kill her.

“Things that sound like they’re out of a spy novel, but they were my life. The other night, I have to be honest, I was sitting at home and I was thinking I should do the laundry and then I thought, ‘Oh, I wonder if he gets convicted if he’ll hire a hitman to kill me? Oh, I wonder what I want for dinner,'” she said.

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“These are just casual thoughts of my life and that’s what’s so wrong and sick,” she continued. “That’s why I fought so hard for this to stop. But more importantly, I fought for global cultural reset because this still happens. While we’re speaking, people are being raped all over the world and they’ll never have a voice in this. I wanted to come and be a voice for those who will never get a chance.”

McGowan was among the women cited in an initial New York Times report in October 2017 as having settled harassment claims against Weinstein. The report claimed that Weinstein paid US$100,000 to McGowan in 1997 over the incident in the hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

Following Monday’s verdict, Weinstein had been destined for jail to await sentencing, set for March 11.

Weinstein faces a possible sentence of five to 29 years after a Manhattan jury convicted him of sexually assaulting Haley and raping an aspiring actress in 2013. He was acquitted of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

Weinstein has maintained that any sex between him and his accusers was consensual.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.

—With files from The Associated Press

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