Alexander Payne has denied an accusation of sexual misconduct against actress Rose McGowan, who accused the “Sideways” director of grooming her into a sexual relationship and showing her a soft-core pornography film when she was 15.
Payne in a guest column in Deadline refuted the timeline and said he had never crossed paths with McGowan at the time she claimed the incident took place. He further denied ever directing a film under a different name or working with Showtime.
“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,” Payne wrote.
He continued: “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.”
“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,” McGowan wrote on Twitter back in August. “You left me on a street corner afterwards. I was 15.”
McGowan would later follow up that post with a statement saying, “I just want an acknowledgment and an apology. I do not want to destroy. This was me at 15.”
Payne added that he did meet McGowan in 1991 during his first directing job for a show for Playboy Channel but that she did not get the part, and that they went out on subsequent dates but have remained friendly for years afterwards.
“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,” he concluded.
Payne, who is 59, would have been around 27-years-old at the time of McGowan’s accusation.
The actress has become a leading figure in the #MeToo movement since she accused Weinstein of raping her at a Sundance Film Festival hotel in the late ’90s. Since coming forward with her story, she has starred in “Citizen Rose,” a four-part docu-series on E!, and become the first woman to win the Inspiration prize at the GQ Men Of The Year awards.
Read Payne’s full guest column via Deadline.