Two and a half weeks ago Rose McGowan tweeted about a sexual misconduct allegation episode (technically statutory rape) that happened, she said, between her 15-year-old self and director Alexander Payne, who was then in his late 20s.
McGowan was 15 between September ‘88 and September ‘89, so by her account the incident happened between 31 and 32 years ago.
This morning Payne posted a brief essay on Deadline that basically said “uhm, sorry, Rose, your memory is faulty…but no offense taken.” He’s saying they dated twice in ’91, but that was two or three years later, of course.
“Rose McGowan and I have always had very cordial interactions, and I have admired her commitment to activism and her voice in an important, historic movement. However, what she has said about me in recent social media posts is simply untrue.
“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.
“She claims that I showed her a ‘soft-core porn movie’ I had directed for Showtime ‘under a different name.’ 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.
“Rose and I did meet years later, in 1991, during my first directing job, when she auditioned for a comic short I 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.
“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.”
Here’s what I posted about the Playboy Channel series in question and related McGowan matters:
McGowan was 15 between September ‘88 and September ‘89. The omnibus sex films that Payne contributed to were produced by the Playboy Channel. One is titled Inside Out (’91 — Payne’s short is titled My Secret Moments) and another is called Inside Out III (’92). The IMDB page for the latter names ten directors, including Payne and Bernard Rose. Payne apparently landed the gigs when he was 27 or 28 and enrolled at UCLA Film School.
“The 29-year-old Payne graduated from UCLA Film School with a Masters degree in May/June 1990.
“Did McGowan see Inside Out or did she see Payne’s The Passion of Martin, which has a sex scene or two? If it’s the latter, she couldn’t have seen much in the fall of ‘88 as Payne was only just beginning to work on it. Let’s presume that he showed her a rough cut of some kind, perhaps during the spring or summer of ‘89. Maybe.”