American actress and #MeToo activist Rose McGowan has accused director Alexander Payne of sexually grooming her, in an explosive tweet on Monday (Aug 17).
McGowan, who turns 47 in September, wrote of the director of films like Election (1999) and About Schmidt (2002): "You sat me down & played a soft-core porn movie you directed for Showtime under a different name...You left me on a street corner afterwards. I was 15."
She followed it up with another tweet with a photo of herself: "I just want an acknowledgement and an apology. I do not want to destroy. This was me at 15."
McGowan, one of the first to come forward with allegations of sexual assault against disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein in October 2017, wrote a longer post on Instagram on Tuesday.
"Last night I dropped a bomb of truth. For years I had thought a man I had sexual relations with was a sexual experience I had. I now know I was groomed. I auditioned for him at 15. After my experience with him, I quit acting entirely until I was 'discovered' at 21," wrote the actress best known for her role as Paige Matthews in the supernatural television series Charmed (1998 to 2006).
"I even tweeted a congratulations on his Oscar win in 2012, that's how deep in the Cult of Hollywood I was. It wasn't until three weeks after the Weinstein story broke that I re-evaluated the situation."
Payne, 59, has so far not reacted to the allegations.
At the 2012 Academy Awards, he was nominated for three awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, for The Descendants (2011), which starred George Clooney and Shailene Woodley.
Payne eventually won Best Adapted Screenplay for the movie. He has also received Best Director Oscar nominations for Sideways (2004) and Nebraska (2013).