Meryl Streep Answers Rose McGowan’s Slam Over Harvey Weinstein: ‘It Hurt’

“I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape,” actress says in statement

Meryl Streep has responded to the criticism leveled against her by fellow actress Rose McGowan over disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein, saying that it “hurt to be attacked” by McGowan.

“It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others,” Streep said in a statement issued Monday.

Streep went on to deny that she had been “deliberately silent” about Weinstein’s alleged actions, saying, “I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening.”

McGowan criticized Streep over the weekend for a reported protest at the upcoming Golden Globes, at which actresses planned to wear black.

“Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest,” McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her, tweeted over the weekend. “YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa,” she added.

That last line by McGowan was in reference to the fashion line of Weinstein’s estranged wife, Georgina Chapman.

In Monday’s statement, Streep said that McGowan “assumed and broadcast something untrue about me,” saying that she reached out to McGowan, and “sat by that phone all day yesterday in this morning, hoping to express both my deep respect for her and others’ bravery in exposing the monsters among us, and my sympathy for the untold, ongoing pain she suffers.”

“I hoped that she would give me a hearing,” Streep wrote. “She did not, but I hope she reads this.”

Streep concluded, “I am truly sorry she sees me as an adversary, because we are both, together with all the women in our business, standing in defiance of the same implacable foe: a status quo that wants so badly to return to the bad old days, the old ways where women were used, abused and refused entry into the decision-making, top levels of the industry. That’s where the cover-ups convene. Those rooms must be disinfected, and integrated, before anything even begins to change.”

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women. A spokesperson for Weinstein has denied the accusations, saying, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.”

Streep first condemned Weinstein, whom she worked with on films like “The Iron Lady” and “August: Osage County,” in early October, calling the titan’s violations “disgraceful” and his behavior “inexcusable.” She, then, also shot down the notion that “everybody” in town knew about Weinstein’s alleged instances of sexual misconduct, saying she had no idea.

Read all of Streep’s newest statement here:

“It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others.

I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening.

I don’t know where Harvey lives, nor has he ever been to my home.

I have never in my life been invited to his hotel room.

I have been to his office once, for a meeting with Wes Craven for “Music of the Heart” in 1998.

HW distributed movies I made with other people.

HW was not a filmmaker; he was often a producer, primarily a marketer of films made by other people- some of them great, some not great. But not every actor, actress, and director who made films that HW distributed knew he abused women, or that he raped Rose in the 90s, other women before and others after, until they told us. We did not know that womens’ silence was purchased by him and his enablers.

HW needed us not to know this, because our association with him bought him credibility, an ability to lure young, aspiring women into circumstances where they would be hurt.

He needed me much more than I needed him and he made sure I didn’t know. Apparently he hired ex Mossad operators to protect this information from becoming public. Rose and the scores of other victims of these powerful, moneyed, ruthless men face an adversary for whom Winning, at any and all costs, is the only acceptable outcome. That’s why a legal defense fund for victims is currently being assembled to which hundreds of good hearted people in our business will contribute, to bring down the bastards, and help victims fight this scourge within.

Rose assumed and broadcast something untrue about me, and I wanted to let her know the truth. Through friends who know her, I got my home phone number to her the minute I read the headlines. I sat by that phone all day yesterday and this morning, hoping to express both my deep respect for her and others’ bravery in exposing the monsters among us, and my sympathy for the untold, ongoing pain she suffers. No one can bring back what entitled bosses like Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and HW took from the women who endured attacks on their bodies and their ability to make a living.. And I hoped that she would give me a hearing. She did not, but I hope she reads this.

I am truly sorry she sees me as an adversary, because we are both, together with all the women in our business, standing in defiance of the same implacable foe: a status quo that wants so badly to return to the bad old days, the old ways where women were used, abused and refused entry into the decision-making, top levels of the industry. That’s where the cover-ups convene. Those rooms must be disinfected, and integrated, before anything even begins to change.”