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Rose McGowan's rallying cry in "Brave"; FEMA halts new food and water deliveries to Puerto Rico

Aired January 31, 2018 - 14:00   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST, AMANPOUR: She was one of the first women to speak up about Harvey Weinstein. And tonight, the actress Rose McGowan

joins us on her unwanted encounter with the movie mogul, about Hollywood hypocrisy and her deeply personal new memoir "Brave."

Plus, Puerto Rico and the state of the union. My conversation with the mayor of San Juan about the long road to recovery from Hurricane Maria.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. The MeToo movement continues to cast its long shadow

from Washington to Hollywood and points in between.

Delivering his first State of the Union, President Donald Trump was met by a sea of black as Democratic lawmakers staged a show of support for women

in the workplace.

It all started when a few brave actors spoke out publicly against the Hollywood mega producer Harvey Weinstein. One of the first and loudest

voices belongs to Rose McGowan.

And in her new book, "Brave", she speaks in painstaking detail about the alleged assault by Weinstein, whom she identifies only as the monster.

Weinstein himself has resurfaced with this strong denial through his attorney. "Mr. Weinstein denies Rose McGowan's allegations of non-

consensual sexual contact and it is erroneous and irresponsible to conflate claims of inappropriate behavior and consensual sexual contact later

regretted with an untrue claim of rape."

Now, when Rose joined me today, she spoke of the rage and sadness at what happened to her and what continues to happen to women everywhere.

Rose McGowan, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: Your new book is called "Brave" and you have been brave. It can't have been easy to really sort of step out there on to the ledge and

take on the most powerful center of the universe in Hollywood.

MCGOWAN: It wasn't easy. It's not easy. That's what - I get a lot of flak sometimes from - I have so much support, which is so amazing, and then

also a lot of flak, of you didn't do this or you did that.

And I do say, I'm going as big as I can and as hard as I can, but it's more than just Hollywood. Really, it's the overall power structure because we

have a lot of tentacles in a lot of different fields - the literary world, obviously media, Hollywood, politics.

This power structure and its tentacles stretch to many different areas. So, it is not just taking out, I think, a single power structure. I wanted

to show what the propaganda machine is and who's behind it.

So, my book is stories of my life, but really the other part of it that is to me the most important is the framework for looking at what happened

because, again, if it happens to me, it happens to everybody.

AMANPOUR: So, let's go into it in some more detail. First and foremost, you do not name the said producer and you do that consciously. Why have

you decided to call him just the monster?

MCGOWAN: Well, you see I find him to be very ugly. I think we can maybe agree on that. And words are really profoundly important to me. And I

don't have his name in there because he doesn't deserve a place in my life, you see. He shouldn't have been there.

AMANPOUR: So, tell me - because until this book came out, you told the world about an incident, but in this book, you spell it out. Can you do

that for us in as - well, can you do that for us?

MCGOWAN: No, I think, suffice it to say, there's a passage in there where it says I leave my body and I fly up to the ceiling, I'm paraphrasing, and

I'm looking down and, all of sudden, you've just been stolen and hijacked and my brain, when I was walking out of the incident, was on - when I was

walking away from our meeting, which by the way, people think hotel rooms. They don't understand.

These are presidential suites. This is like the entire top floor, say, of a massive building. It might have three or four offices inside.

And in Hollywood, everybody is in hotels all the time. So, my thought that day when I was walking away from our meeting was, I was actually wondering

if my lipstick was still on right because there were cameras outside rolling and waiting for me to come out.

AMANPOUR: What was the meeting for and what happened instead?

MCGOWAN: Well, the meeting happened. It was 10:00 am. The meeting was actually supposed to happen, as I detail in "Brave", in the dining room of

the Stein Eriksen Lodge at Sundance, a film festival in Utah.

[14:05:08] And I was supposed to be the belle of the ball that year. I had four movies there. And I was told that was a really big deal. I was very

new in the industry.

And you see, I thought people told me the truth. I didn't know everybody was lying. I didn't know that yet. And the meeting was - I was in the

middle of my second film for his company.

AMANPOUR: You basically - in this hotel suite, after the meeting, you detail in your book that you were guided by him to the jacuzzi and

basically undressed and you ended up both in the jacuzzi in some form or fashion and there was an unwanted sexual encounter.

MCGOWAN: I mean, would you want it? Would anybody? Let's be real. Seriously, let's be real.

The thing is - the book is about so much more than this. To, I think, reduce what I'm talking about in general to that gives him a lot of power

and I don't think he deserves that. And I think we all pretty much know because, by the way, most of us have been assaulted, especially women. So,

we kind of know the story.

AMANPOUR: I know you don't want to use his name, but I have to because I'm going to read.

MCGOWAN: I will say Harvey Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein. There, I said it.

AMANPOUR: Well, in that case, Harvey Weinstein has -

MCGOWAN: He just didn't get a place in my book because my book is precious and it will live on.

AMANPOUR: All right. Harvey Weinstein has issued a new statement as your book and your documentary have come out, denying your account in the book.

Let me just read it and you can respond.

MCGOWAN: No, no, no. I know what he said. People can google it. I am not here to be challenged by a known - proven by "The New York Times" and

"The New Yorker", by their best investigative journalists on the planet. I have not - I do not need to hear what he says. And you could say before or

after this thing, but I don't need to hear it. Thank you. Because I know what he did and we all do.

OK. All of us women and his victims specifically, and there's a lot of us. A lot more than people would think.

AMANPOUR: All right. So, he is, obviously, denying it. So, I want to hear from you, your voice in response to this latest denial by him and his


MCGOWAN: They can fall off the planet. I don't care what they say. They don't exist in my reality. They are complete corrupt losers. This is a

warning. Do not do it. Do not come at me. Do not come at us because, yes, you are powerful men, but you're using traditional methods of shame.

You've hacked me. You've stalked me. You've spied on me. You've stolen 125 pages of my book after sexually assaulting me? No. Absolutely not. I

won't have it. And they should know that they are going to be empty suits in their coffins.

AMANPOUR: As you say, you're being very clear and very out there and you want your book and your message to warn other people, not just in

Hollywood, but in all these different professions that have now been outed in the aftermath of Harvey Weinstein allegations.

Now, let me ask you because you mentioned it and I want to follow up, your book also is about the cult that your parents were in and you grew up in,

you were born into in, not even in the United States, it was called the Children of God.

And you say, Hollywood is just another cult. Take me back to your youngest years and what you recall from that period?

MCGOWAN: Yes, Christiane. What I recall from - in Italy, it was called Bambini di Dio, Children of God. And that's what they thought they were.

They really thought - my father grew up in a hectic environment and he was dishonorably discharged from the military, which he was very proud of. He

said to me, I will not kill another race for this country's lives and I think that's been proven to be true.

AMANPOUR: And you do also recount, I mean, quite painful truths about your youth. You say that your father was abusive to you and you talk about how

you yourself, after leaving the cult, when you were slightly older, was sexually abused. Tell us about that part of your life?

MCGOWAN: Well, my father was and could be very violent of tongue and body. It was like I would see something come over him and it was the mental

illness, the undiagnosed mental illness, but I was (INAUDIBLE 4:40) and I subscribed to the Journal of American Medicine, and so I could get this

DSMB thing and look up mental illnesses, and I was like that's it, that explains a lot.

AMANPOUR: And you write about a different man sexually abusing you in a store when you were a teenager. And then, you expand more about how that

affected you and again how you feel the Hollywood you know was sort of a continuation of that kind of, as you call it, cult-like environment where

you said layers and layers of different professionals involved in the Hollywood business were enablers and complicit. Tell us about that.

MCGOWAN: It is so big, Christiane. And when I started with "The New York Times" through a woman at a place called, I spoke to a

woman who is the head of it named Shaunna Thomas and I told her that I'm writing my book, he's already after me, the people that have been after me

the whole time, these 20 years, the complicity machine and I started hammering that word home about three years ago when I decided to start like

poking at the sleeping bear, the power structure. Just I'm coming. I'm coming. I'm coming. You don't get to do this anymore. It is a call.

AMANPOUR: I guess, what I'm trying to understand is there was so many people involved and you spoke to people even when things were happening to

you. And you even met with a lawyer. And this lawyer, who's a woman said, you're an actress, you've done a sex scene, you'll never win, you're done.

MCGOWAN: Yes. This woman has actually gotten in touch with Susan Dominus from "The New York Times" who wrote a great profile. And she reached out

and she wanted to apologize. And I accepted her apology. It's OK. I understand. You're a part of the machine. And they probably got you there

to say that specifically to me.

AMANPOUR: What do you think is the reason that your own manager spoke against you and did not verify what you said you had told her after the

Harvey Weinstein incident? Why not?

MCGOWAN: Maybe because she got a job with him for seven years afterwards.

And also, Ann Woodward in the Susan Dominus piece in "The New York Times" on me verified the story. Ann Woodward was Jill Messick's assistant and

she was on a lot of these calls and she has come out - like "The New York Times" verified her story.

AMANPOUR: And in that vein, let me ask you this. Do you think that the expectation in Hollywood that you were describing and now that many people

have described that women would trade sexual favors for their career was so ingrained in the system -


AMANPOUR: - that nobody -

MCGOWAN: I think it's ingrained in the system to rape and own women. I don't think it's ingrained. That's how it's been portrayed that women -

that casting couch is us trying to get a job.

What if it's you using that power dynamic to rape. Think about the difference. And think about who spins and writes history because it's not

us. We need to rise up into our own power and see where we're being manipulated and see why it's like a collective Stockholm syndrome and a

system that needs to be broken down.

And again, in my book, when I talk about these stories, it's using - if I talk about Meryl Streep - I don't talk about her in the book - or Ben

Affleck or anybody, they're a construct. They're one - they're a stereotype. Trust me, I know.

AMANPOUR: So, you mentioned Meryl Streep. And, obviously, that's quite a famous now rift between the two of you.

MCGOWAN: It's not a rift.

AMANPOUR: OK. Well, you have -

MCGOWAN: I'm not in a -

AMANPOUR: Let me just follow-up because I asked her specifically to answer your criticism that you said that people like her knew, that their silence

was part of the problem. And she, as you know, wrote and said that you had assumed and broadcast things about her that weren't true.

And I asked her the following about this. And this is what she said and I'd just like to get your reaction to it.


MERYL STREEP, ACTRESS: I'm sure in many ways she wished I knew. What happened to Rose is unbearable. It sticks a knife in everyone's heart that

this man was allowed to continue in his - the way he worked on people, over the bodies of women. He made a business over the bodies of women.

For Rose, I think I have nothing but empathy and a hope that she finds a way to heal. I really do. And I think she and so many of the women who

have stepped forward - Annabella, Mira Sorvino, Asia Argento - these are who we owe them a debt of gratitude because they've changed the 21st

century. They really have.


MCGOWAN: And I would thank her for that. Thank you, Meryl Streep, for that.

The thing is, it's again - it's hard to tell off a tweet. When I fired off that tweet, people think it's me raging. It was me turned in and crying

because I had to see her call him god.

[14:15:12] So, it's not that I'm sure that I wish she knew, it's more that it was part of the propaganda because everybody he wasn't. Either, if you

didn't know specifically it was about sexual assault, he's not a good man, never has been, never was, not at all.

So, that - when somebody calls him god, it reinforces his power to him. So, again, I am talking about the establishment. And I've praised her for

what she said and I thank her and that means a lot to me. I hope we all heal. I hope we all do. But I hope we also get out of the cult.

AMANPOUR: Your book has landed at an amazing time. Brave. And thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.

MCGOWAN: Thank you, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Now, the network did due diligence, reaching out to Harvey Weinstein's legal team who provided us what they say are emails purportedly

written by Ben Affleck and Jill Messick who was her manager at the time of the alleged incident. And they deny McGowan's claims.

A wrenching story.

Turning now to American politics. When President Trump delivered his very first State of the Union address last night, watching from the balcony was

Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

That American territory is still struggling to recover four months after the devastating Hurricane Maria. The president barely mentioned it. And

today, the US government's emergency response department, FEMA, stopped all new shipments of food and water, saying that the island didn't need them


Is that true? Mayor Cruz is now back home in San Juan and she joins me from there. Mayor, welcome to the program.

CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR OF SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: Thank you very much for having me.

AMANPOUR: Mayor, what do you make of - first of all, when you were in the Congress, listening to the president's State of the Union, he did actually

briefly mention Puerto Rico. And I'm going to just play what he said to have you react to it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands - everywhere

- we are with you, we love you and we always will pull through together. Always.


AMANPOUR: So, you're back home now. You were a guest there last night. What went through your mind as you heard that?

CRUZ: It is an utter statement of hypocrisy. The president has not been with the people of Puerto Rico. Here we are 135, 136 days, if you count

from Maria, which is what the world count from, but we had Irma before that, and 35 percent of our people do not have electricity, our children

are going to school only part-time, about half a million homes are totally disrupted, either need to be rebuilt completely or need to have their roof

completely put on top of them, which means you lost everything inside.

President Trump speaks out of both sides of his mouth. On the one hand, he says he wants to help Puerto Rico; and on the other hand, he imposed, with

his tax reform, a 20 percent income tax on every good and service that comes from Puerto Rico into the United States.

On the one hand, he says we will be with you for the long run. And on the other hand, the FDA - the Federal Drug Administration - is trying to

convince pharmaceutical companies to leave Puerto Rico rather than getting them energized and going back into the United States.

On the one hand, he says he cares. And he came here and threw paper towels at us. And on the other hand, he doesn't provide his administration with a

clear set of goals to help Puerto Rico.

Yesterday, FEMA said mission accomplished. I don't know what mission they have accomplished. But, certainly, they haven't accomplished the mission

of doing what they're supposed to do.

The municipalities in Puerto Rico are aching and the money is running out on us.

AMANPOUR: Let me just ask you then to respond because many people have been reporting this. they are quite shocked that FEMA has said FEMA-

provided commodities are no longer needed for emergency operations, while the government of your country basically says we were not informed that

supplies would stop arriving, nor did the government of Puerto Rico authorize this action.

Were you blindsided. You must have known that today was D-day for cutoff of these supplies.

[14:20:00] CRUZ: No, we didn't know. That's what happens when you live in a colony. Being a territory is being a colony. We didn't know.

And I want the people from Great Britain to understand this. We have paid the ultimate price. This is not help. In 1917, we were made American

citizens by birth just with enough time to be drafted for World War I.

And we have ever since been part of every major or minor conflict that the United States has been at. So, we have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

FEMA is an insurance. When you have a mortgage, you pay for that. Not only did FEMA say - and there was a big outcry yesterday. In one of those

magical moments where everyone in Puerto Rico is for the same thing, telling FEMA, no, your mission has not been accomplished.

But in October, President Trump allowed the army reserve, which had been doing a good job, to leave Puerto Rico. So, rather than building bridges,

where people are right now, today, just using ropes to go from one side of the river to another, they left.

Just this past Monday, three days ago, I had to send to a school, 45 minutes out of San Juan, water and powdered milk. These children have no

electricity, have no running water and there wasn't enough food for them to take care of themselves.

So, this is not mission accomplished. And I think that what was happened in that Puerto Rico and the botched effort and the inability of President

Trump to show - forget true leadership - to show empathy as a human being has become a black eye in the United States and has become a black eye for

the Trump administration.

They are so different from what the American people have been doing.

AMANPOUR: Well, I was going to say, this program is broadcast around the world and across the United States and the American people have been

incredibly generous.

So, I just want to dig down because we reached out to FEMA. And they said, yes, we are cutting off new supplies, but we have stockpiles and they

specifically said 46 million liters of water, 4 million meals and snacks.

And they told us they believe that's sufficient for your transition needs. Is it sufficient?

CRUZ: This is what they don't understand. And they've had four months to understand it. You cannot continue to treat the Puerto Rican situation as

per the standard operating procedures.

FEMA was telling us around the first weeks after September 20, when we had no electricity, to use our telephones or the Internet connection to just

call in and just register to get a - now what FEMA doesn't get and they have since - have been forced - and I want to say thank you not only to the

American people, but to you in Great Britain because you have been very, very cognizant of the fact that if hadn't been for the British people, for

people in Europe and South America, the people of the United States, the world would have not known what is happening in Puerto Rico.

What is happening in Puerto Rico is that people are still dying, is that people died when they weren't supposed to die because of the botched effort

on an administration of a man that is more enamored with the idea of making himself look good than doing what is the right thing.

So, no, it is not enough. While our electrical grid is not up in a constant basis, it will not be enough.

AMANPOUR: And indeed, we understand a third of the people of Puerto Rico are still without electricity four months after to Hurricane Irma and


But I want you to respond to Sen. Marco Rubio. Obviously, there is a big debate over how American is Puerto Rico, statehood, no statehood. But this

is what he said about the US responsibility.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: At the end of the day, here's the bottom line. Puerto Rico is a US territory. It is the responsibility of the

United States - these are American citizens. Their children, their residents wear the uniform of this country.


AMANPOUR: So, mayor, how can Puerto Ricans hold the United States' lawmakers accountable, put pressure on them, to do what you're asking for.

I think you've asked for debt relief. You also want some kind of relief because the law as it stands means that rebuilding efforts have to be

exactly the same as those structures that have already been knocked down whereas you want to rebuild in a better, more sustainable way. And I

understand there's another hurricane season upon you.

CRUZ: Exactly. Yes, hurricane season begins on July 1.

[14:25:02] The Stafford Act, which is the Disaster Relief Act that basically structures FEMA, is very antiquated. And it basically states

that if you have a wooden house with a zinc top, you have to rebuild a wooden house with a zinc top.

Well, that makes absolutely no sense. And we're asking for a waiver from the Stafford Act. We're also asking for a waiver of the Jones Act, which

forces us to have anything that comes into Puerto Rico be brought with ships that have an American flag in them.

That is to say, if Great Britain, for example, would want to help Puerto Rico with electrical light posts, you would have to decide whether you ship

them to the US and then someone in the US brings them over here. Or once you come here, you cannot take the same ship into the United States.

So, that is really financial exploitation. It is certainly financial domination.

And he is true. He is right, Marco Rubio. We are a territory - what he doesn't want to say is that being a territory is being a colony. And the

time to be silent has long passed and we need to do - make alliances with people around the world, but also with lawmakers in the United States that

do understand that we are humans.

And if you cannot meet the legal imperative, meet the moral imperative.

AMANPOUR: Mayor Cruz, your voice has been loud and clear tonight. And thank you so much for joining us from San Juan.

And that is it for our program tonight.

Remember, you can always listen to our podcast. You can see us online at And follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for watching. And goodbye from London.