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"A bold lie": Weinstein's lawyer responds to Rose McGowan's rape claim

Actress Rose McGowan seen in Detroit on Oct. 27, 2017.

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LOS ANGELES -- A lawyer for Harvey Weinstein called actress Rose McGowan's claims of rape against the former Hollywood producer are "a bold lie." Attorney Ben Brafman wrote in a statement Tuesday that McGowan is trying to smear Weinstein to promote her new book "Brave."

McGowan details her allegations against Weinstein in the memoir released Tuesday, although she does not refer to him by name. She writes in the book that the producer forced himself on her during what began as a business meeting at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997.

McGowan reached a settlement with Weinstein for $100,000 in exchange to not pursue legal action. A copy of the settlement was eventually obtained by The New Yorker

Scores of women have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault -- and it sparked major movements like #MeToo and Time's Up.

Most notably, women banded together to express their support of those who have been victims of sexual misconduct by wearing black at the Golden Globes and wearing white roses at the Grammy Awards.

Brafman's statement said Weinstein and his attorneys "have refrained from publicly criticizing any of the women who have made allegations of sexual assault against Mr. Weinstein despite a wealth of evidence that would demonstrate the patent falsity of these claims.

"Watching the 'performance' by Rose McGowan as she looks to promote her new book however, has made it impossible to remain quiet," the statement said.

Brafman says Weinstein denies McGowan's claims. The attorney also cites correspondence from "two witnesses" to corroborate his client's position: Entertainment manager Jill Messick and Oscar winner Ben Affleck.

The statement released through crisis management firm Sitrick & Co. also included several photos of McGowan looking cordial with Weinstein at an industry event in 2005.

McGowan responded on Twitter late Tuesday by calling out Weinstein by name, which she had pointedly refrained from doing earlier.

"It is you (who) did this to us," she wrote.

A representative for Affleck did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

You can read the statement in its entirety below:

As a general matter, Harvey Weinstein and his attorneys have refrained from publicly criticizing any of the women who have made allegations of sexual assault against Mr. Weinstein despite a wealth of evidence that would demonstrate the patent falsity of these claims. Watching the "performance" by Rose McGowan as she looks to promote her new book however, has made it impossible to remain quiet as she tries to smear Mr. Weinstein with a bold lie that is denied not only by Mr. Weinstein himself, but by at least two witnesses, including Ms. McGowan's own Manager at the time who Ms. McGowan claims to have confided in the day after the alleged assault and an A-list actor Ben Affleck who Ms. McGowan claims to have also told about her encounter with Mr. Weinstein shortly after the incident she now describes as "rape", but which in 1997 she described to her Manager as a "consensual" act of sex.

In an email to Mr. Weinstein regarding the encounter, Jill Messick says the following, "When we met up the following day, she hesitantly told me of her own accord that during the meeting that night before she had gotten into a hot tub with Mr. Weinstein. She was very clear about the fact that getting into that hot tub was something that she did consensually and that in hindsight it was also something that she regretted having done."

Ben Affleck expressed the following in an email to Mr. Weinstein, "She never told me nor did I ever infer that she was attacked by anyone. Any accounts to the contrary are false. I have no knowledge about anything Rose did or claimed to have done."