On Tuesday evening, actress, filmmaker, and activist Rose McGowan turned herself in to the Loudon County, Virginia magistrate’s office, following the issuing of a felony warrant related to charges of drug possession. The news that McGowan — who has been outspoken about the many allegations waged against Harvey Weinstein, including her own — was being sought by the authorities for an incident that happened in January struck many as strange, including McGowan herself.
In a new interview with Ronan Farrow over at The New Yorker, McGowan details the circumstances of the incident, and Farrow himself makes it plain: McGowan thinks she was set up. Farrow certainly knows a thing or two about Weinstein’s tactics, having helped break open the Weinstein allegations with his own exposé and recently publishing yet another report detailing Weinstein’s apparent hiring of suspicious private security agencies to follow and scare his accusers, including McGowan.
Rose McGowan turned herself in on drug charges today. She believes she was set up. My report on the strange saga of her arrest, including her first interview on the subject: https://t.co/Gghw1kdMPn
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) November 15, 2017
As Farrow writes, “The charges stem from an incident that took place on the night of January 20th, when McGowan landed at Dulles International Airport, in Virginia, planning to attend the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., the next day. According to a police report, at 2:32 a.m. on January 21st, airport personnel called the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department. A staff member cleaning a plane had recovered McGowan’s wallet—containing, the staffer and his supervisor said, two small bags of white powder, which registered as cocaine in later tests.”
McGowan is adamant that she was not carrying cocaine, and she also said that she never actually removed her wallet during the flight. She only discovered it was missing after she had already disembarked the plane, leading her to reportedly file a missing property claim. McGowan and her lawyer “argue that the drugs could have been planted, given the spans of time during which unknown individuals may have had access to the wallet.”
McGowan then goes on to detail a series of strange incidents around the apparent discovery of her wallet on the plane, including a phone call from a police detective that she didn’t totally believe was real, her fear that she was being followed while at the Women’s March, and a very weird Instagram message she received the next day that referenced her lost wallet and the apparent illicit drugs that were discovered in it.
She also opens up about why she didn’t immediately respond to the felony warrant from Loudon County, issued on February 1, telling Farrow, “I was going to asap but then things started to get really weird. I knew I was being followed and that I wasn’t safe. I even hired a private investigator to investigate whether the warrant was real.”
McGowan was released from the magistrate’s office on Tuesday afternoon and will be arraigned on Thursday morning. As she told Farrow, “I will clearly plead not guilty.”