NEW YORK • In a sign that the controversy over producer Harvey Weinstein could engulf other people in the film industry, actress Rose McGowan accused actor Ben Affleck of lying about his knowledge of Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment and assaults of women.
McGowan, in a tweet and a subsequent e-mail exchange with The New York Times on Tuesday night, said she had told Affleck that Weinstein had behaved inappropriately with her.
Affleck, who rose to stardom with help from Weinstein on the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, had said earlier on Tuesday that he was "angry" over Weinstein's alleged abuse of women, but he gave no indication of whether he knew about it. "I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn't happen to others," Affleck said in a statement.
Hours later, McGowan addressed the tweet to Affleck accusing him of omitting information in his statement.
She quotes him telling her that Weinstein had mistreated other women."'G********! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT' you said that to my face," McGowan wrote in the tweet. "The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie."
Affleck has not responded to McGowan's tweet. He did not respond to requests for further comment.
On Wednesday night, McGowan revealed that her Twitter account had been suspended, The Hollywood Reporter said.
1. Actress Ashley Judd
2. Former employee Laura Madden
3. Actress Rose McGowan
4. Filipina-Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez
5. Former temporary employee Emily Nestor
6. Italian actress Asia Argento
7. Former aspiring actress Lucia Evans
8. Actress Mira Sorvino
9. French actress Emma de Caunes
10. Actress Rosanna Arquette
11. Actress Jessica Barth
12. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow
13. Actress Angelina Jolie
14. Former aspiring actress Tomi-Ann Roberts, now a psychology professor
15. Actress Katherine Kendall
16. French actress Judith Godreche
17. Costume designer Dawn Dunning
18. Actress Heather Graham
19. Actress Louisette Geiss
20. Television news reporter Lauren Sivan
21. Writer Zoe Brock
22. Non-profit director Louise Godbold
23. Artist Liza Campbell
24. British actress Romola Garai
25. British actress Cara Delevingne
26. French actress Lea Seydoux
She wrote on Instagram and Facebook: "TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE. #ROSEARMY."
Affleck had been one of many Hollywood allies of Weinstein who remained silent following a Times report last Thursday about three decades of allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein and at least eight settlements with women.
On Tuesday, The Times reported additional accusations by actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, and The New Yorker published harrowing accounts of women who told of being raped by Weinstein.
More women have accused Weinstein of inappropriate behaviour.
On Wednesday, British model and actress Cara Delevingne posted a written account of her experience with Weinstein. She said that early in her career, she met the producer in his hotel room, where she found him with another woman. "He asked us to kiss," Delevingne wrote, adding that she had quickly got up and tried to leave.
"He walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips," she said, describing feelings of guilt because she later secured a part in one of his films.
French actress Lea Seydoux, who won a Palme d'Or at Cannes for Blue Is The Warmest Colour (2013), said Weinstein invited her to the Hotel Plaza Athenee around 2012 for a drink and to talk about her career, but she had to fight him off. She wrote in The Guardian: "I had to defend myself. He's big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him."
On Tuesday, British actress Romola Garai told The Guardian that Weinstein had sexually harassed her in his room at The Savoy in London when she was 18.
In 1997, Weinstein reached a US$100,000 settlement with McGowan after an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival.
McGowan and Affleck appeared together in the 1997 movie Going All The Way and the 1998 movie Phantoms. While several prominent actresses spoke out on Monday against Weinstein, Affleck was one of a small cadre of prominent male figures in Hollywood with ties to Weinstein who criticised him on Tuesday after the new reports in The Times and The New Yorker.
In his statement posted to Twitter, Affleck wrote that he was "saddened and angry" and that new reports of more serious assaults - which including accounts of forced oral sex - "made me sick". But he did not say whether he knew anything about Weinstein's treatment of women. Affleck has dated Paltrow, though it is not known whether she relayed news of her incident to him.
Other actors, such as Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, said they were unaware of the accusations, and Glenn Close said she had heard "vague rumours".
Matt Damon, Affleck's long-time friend and film collaborator, said in an interview with Deadline on Tuesday that he "never saw" Weinstein harass or abuse women and that he would have put an end to it if he had. Damon's and Affleck's film careers were kicked off by Good Will Hunting, which Weinstein backed.
"This type of predation happens behind closed doors and out of public view," Damon said. "If there was ever an event that I was at and Harvey was doing this kind of thing and I didn't see it, then I am so deeply sorry because I would have stopped it."
Several directors with close ties to Weinstein, such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, have not responded to requests for comment this week, however.
Actor George Clooney has also weighed in on the controversy, telling The Daily Beast in an interview published on Monday night that while he was aware of rumours that young actresses had slept with Weinstein to get roles, he had been unaware of any misconduct or the settlements Weinstein had reached with women. "I didn't hear anything about that and I don't know anyone that did. That's a whole other level and there's no way you can reconcile that," said Clooney, who has worked with Weinstein repeatedly over 20 years. "There's nothing to say except that it's indefensible."
And actor Leonardo DiCaprio tweeted that he applauded "the strength and courage of the women who came forward".
Also on Tuesday, Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg - who has known Weinstein for 30 years and who was chairman of Walt Disney Studios when it bought Weinstein's company Miramax - publicly released an e-mail he sent to Weinstein, in which Katzenberg said he was "sickened", "angry" and "incredibly disappointed".
"You have done terrible things to a number of women over a period of years," Katzenberg wrote. "There appear to be two Harvey Weinsteins... one that I have known well, appreciated and admired and another that I have not known at all."