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Meryl Streep responds to Rose McGowan’s criticism

“I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know,” Streep said of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of abuse.

Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep on Dec. 18, 2017,

Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep on Dec. 18, 2017, responded in a statement to The Huffington Post. Credit: AP / Steven Senne

Meryl Streep responded Monday to Rose McGowan accusing her and other actresses of staying silent during producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged decades of sexual abuse of women.

Saying, “It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend,” the three-time Academy Award winner, 68, said she was unaware of Weinstein’s reported Hollywood predation. “I wasn’t deliberately silent,” Streep, a longtime Connecticut resident, told HuffingtonPost.com. “I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know.”

In her long statement, Streep went on to say that “not every actor, actress, and director who made films that HW distributed knew he abused women, or that he raped Rose in the 90s, other women before and others after, until they told us. We did not know that women’s silence was purchased by him and his enablers.”

She said McGowan — who had assailed Streep and other actresses reportedly planning to wear black to the Golden Globe Awards as silent protest of sexual abuse — “assumed and broadcast something untrue about me, and I wanted to let her know the truth.” After getting her phone number to McGowan through friends, “I sat by that phone all day yesterday and this morning, hoping to express both my deep respect for her and others’ bravery in exposing the monsters among us, and my sympathy for the untold, ongoing pain she suffers. . . . And I hoped that she would give me a hearing. She did not, but I hope she reads this.”

Saying she and others were organizing a legal-defense fund for victims, Streep added of McGowan, “I am truly sorry she sees me as an adversary.”

McGowan did not immediately respond to Streep’s statement.

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