The e book hinges on McGowan’s encounter with Weinstein, whom she refers to solely as “the Monster.” Right here, for the primary time, she tells the story of what he did to her. It’s each disgusting and, if you happen to’ve adopted the Weinstein protection, very acquainted. She was summoned to a morning assembly within the restaurant of an unique lodge in Park Metropolis, Utah. When she arrived, the restaurant’s host directed her to Weinstein’s suite, saying he was caught on a name. “I used to be sure we might be working collectively for a few years to come back, and we had been right here to plot out the grand arc of my profession,” McGowan writes.
As an alternative, Weinstein pushed her right into a room with a Jacuzzi and pulled off her garments. “I freeze, like a statue,” she writes. As she describes it, he put her on the sting of the Jacuzzi, received in, and carried out oral intercourse on her whereas masturbating. Her expertise sounds just like the one which the actress and director Asia Argento described to The New Yorker. Like Argento, McGowan says that she feigned pleasure within the hopes of bringing the occasion to a faster conclusion. “He moans loudly; by way of my tears I see his semen floating on prime of the bubbles,” she writes.
Afterward, McGowan writes, she was taken to a photo-op with Ben Affleck, her co-star in “Phantoms,” a film she was selling. Seeing her shaken and listening to the place she got here from, the actor stated, “Goddamn it. I instructed him to cease doing that.” (It’s unclear what Affleck meant by that assertion; he has by no means responded to the accusation that he knew about Weinstein’s abuse.) Others, McGowan writes, “recommended me to see it as one thing that may assist my profession in the long term.” Eager to press costs, she spoke to a felony legal professional who instructed her she would by no means be believed.
Quickly she heard that Weinstein was calling round city telling individuals to not rent her. “It appeared like each creep in Hollywood knew about my most susceptible and violated second,” she writes. “And I used to be the one who was punished for it.” Her movie profession was derailed.
McGowan would ultimately discover success taking part in one in all a trio of witches on the TV present “Charmed.” She describes engaged on the present as a deadening expertise, a “jail for my thoughts.” Her sense of martyrdom is usually a bit a lot; she writes of feeling “robbed” by having to get married on TV earlier than her actual marriage ceremony. “Your leisure comes at a price to us performers,” McGowan writes. “You need to know this and acknowledge.”
But it’s McGowan’s profound dissatisfaction along with her career — one she appears to have fallen into relatively than pursued — that has given her the liberty to gleefully burn bridges. She loathes the leisure enterprise, describing Hollywood as a cult worse than the one she grew up in. Although she’s in her 40s, she generally writes with the grandiosity of an alienated adolescent whose thoughts was blown by “The Matrix.” “It’s possible you’ll suppose that what occurs in Hollywood doesn’t have an effect on you,” she writes. “You’re incorrect. My darlings, who do you suppose is curating your actuality?”
For many grownup readers, it gained’t be a lot of a revelation that Hollywood trades in distortion and exploitation. However I hope “Courageous” finds its approach into the fingers of teenage women who should look to actresses as they struggle to determine how they’re alleged to be on the earth, women who aspire to the life McGowan as soon as had. Ultimately, McGowan finds a measure of peace and redemption when she strikes behind the digital camera, turning into a director and multimedia artist, topic relatively than object. One of many classes of her story is that being desired is not any substitute for being highly effective.