On August 17, McGowan went to Twitter with some detailed accusations stemming from alleged encounters in the late ‘80s, when she was only 15 years old. “Alexander Payne. You sat me down & played a soft-core porn movie you directed for Showtime under a different name,” the tweet read. “I still remember your apartment in Silverlake. You are very well-endowed. You left me on a street corner afterwards. I was 15.” She went on to say that she was only looking for acknowledgement and an apology, not to “destroy” his career.
On Friday afternoon, Deadline posted Payne’s statement via the platform’s guest column. “Rose McGowan and I have always had very cordial interactions, and I have admired her commitment to activism and her voice in an important, historic movement. However, what she has said about me in recent social media posts is simply untrue.” Payne goes on to refute McGowan’s timeline of events, claiming that he was studying film at UCLA and that their paths would not have crossed during that time. He also denies ever directing anything for Showtime: “She claims that I showed her a ‘soft-core porn movie’ I had directed for Showtime ‘under a different name.’ This would have been impossible, since I had never directed anything professionally, lurid or otherwise. I have also never worked for Showtime or directed under any name other than my own.”
While he does acknowledge that they met during an audition for a Playboy Channel program in 1991 (which, if they had met on or after September 7, would have made McGowan 18 years old and Payne 27), he claims that McGowan pursued him, which led to “a couple of dates.” When Variety asked McGowan to comment on Payne’s statement, she simply responsed, “F— him and his lies is my comment.”