Actor and activist Rose McGowan interjected in the California recall-election narrative this weekend to stump for conservative radio host Larry Elder and denounce members of the state’s first family — namely Jennifer Siebel Newsom, whose husband, Gov. Gavin Newsom, is the subject of Tuesday’s recall vote.
McGowan, a vociferous personality in the #MeToo movement and a longtime listener of the Republican frontrunner’s show, appeared Sunday in Brentwood at a campaign rally for gubernatorial hopeful Elder. She claimed that Newsom’s wife allegedly tried to bribe her to “suppress” McGowan’s allegations against convicted movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in 2017.
Siebel Newsom’s team has said that McGowan’s allegations are “a complete fabrication.”
The “Charmed” star said she left the Democratic Party “because everyone who has harassed, stalked and stolen from” her during her Hollywood career has been a Democrat. And although she said she doesn’t agree with Elder on every issue, she thinks “he is the better candidate” and “the better man.”
McGowan, who would later publicly accuse Weinstein of rape, accused Siebel Newsom of asking her to cooperate with Weinstein attorney David Boies, of the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, in 2017, months before the New York Times and the New Yorker published their prize-winning takedowns about the disgraced producer’s pattern of sexual misconduct and assault.
The actor alleged that she had a brief phone call with Siebel Newsom, whom she said asked her: “What will it take? What can Boies Schiller do to make you happy?” and produced an email allegedly written by Siebel Newsom in 2017 to corroborate her story. In the email, Siebel Newsom allegedly defends herself against the idea that she was siding with Weinstein and his attorney.
McGowan on Monday also produced graphics relating Siebel Newsom to the Weinstein scandal and excerpts from the alleged email in a Twitter thread, though she did not produce the original document. She also shared that Siebel Newsom’s brother-in-law is Josh Schiller, a partner at the law firm that once represented Weinstein and the son of founding partner Jonathan Schiller. (Josh Schiller was arrested in January on suspicion of domestic violence.)
In the email, Siebel Newsom allegedly acknowledged asking McGowan, “what if anything Boies could do for her that would help her to heal.” McGowan rejected the overture and insisted the idea that she wanted to help Weinstein was “completely absurd.”
Siebel Newsom later wrote an article for the Huffington Post that said she experienced “aggressive advances” and similar circumstances as other Weinstein accusers.
On Sunday, Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker, strongly denied McGowan’s claims. Her spokesperson told The Times that her “limited correspondence” with McGowan “has been strictly as fellow survivors of sexual assault and in Jennifer’s former capacity leading the Representation Project, an organization that fights limiting gender stereotypes and norms.”
Gov. Newsom also called McGowan’s allegations “outrageous and false” and reiterated a string of Elder’s positions that he said were bad for women.
Times staff writers Faith E. Pinho and James Rainey contributed to this report.