Stumping for Larry Elder, Rose McGowan drums up recall drama by bashing Newsom family

A woman in a gold silk jacket speaks at a podium while a man in a suit stands beside her
California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder and actor Rose McGowan speak during a news conference Sunday at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Actor and activist Rose McGowan interjected in the California recall-election narrative this weekend to stump for conservative radio host Larry Elder and denounce members of the state’s first family — namely Jennifer Siebel Newsom, whose husband, Gov. Gavin Newsom, is the subject of Tuesday’s recall vote.

McGowan, a vociferous personality in the #MeToo movement and a longtime listener of the Republican frontrunner’s show, appeared Sunday in Brentwood at a campaign rally for gubernatorial hopeful Elder. She claimed that Newsom’s wife allegedly tried to bribe her to “suppress” McGowan’s allegations against convicted movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in 2017.

Siebel Newsom’s team has said that McGowan’s allegations are “a complete fabrication.”

The “Charmed” star said she left the Democratic Party “because everyone who has harassed, stalked and stolen from” her during her Hollywood career has been a Democrat. And although she said she doesn’t agree with Elder on every issue, she thinks “he is the better candidate” and “the better man.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republican front-runner Larry Elder fanned out across L.A. on Sunday to make their final push to voters in California’s recall election.

Sept. 12, 2021

McGowan, who would later publicly accuse Weinstein of rape, accused Siebel Newsom of asking her to cooperate with Weinstein attorney David Boies, of the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, in 2017, months before the New York Times and the New Yorker published their prize-winning takedowns about the disgraced producer’s pattern of sexual misconduct and assault.


The actor alleged that she had a brief phone call with Siebel Newsom, who she said asked her: “What will it take? What can Boies Schiller do to make you happy?” and produced an email allegedly written by Siebel Newsom in 2017 to corroborate her story. In the email, Siebel Newsom allegedly defends herself against the idea that she was siding with Weinstein and his attorney.

Voters decide in California’s recall election whether Gov. Gavin Newsom will stay in office.

Sept. 13, 2021

For the record:

6:48 p.m. Sept. 17, 2021Sept. 17, 6:20 p.m.: A previous version of this story said that Josh Schiller was arrested. He was detained and charges against him were dropped in April.

McGowan on Monday also produced graphics relating Siebel Newsom to the Weinstein scandal and excerpts from the alleged email in a Twitter thread, though she did not produce the original document. She also shared that Siebel Newsom’s brother-in-law is Josh Schiller, a partner at the law firm that once represented Weinstein and the son of founding partner Jonathan Schiller. (Josh Schiller was detained in January on suspicion of domestic violence.)

In the email, Siebel Newsom allegedly acknowledged asking McGowan, “what if anything Boies could do for her that would help her to heal.” McGowan rejected the overture and insisted the idea that she wanted to help Weinstein was “completely absurd.”

Believe what you want politically, actor Rose McGowan says, but not to the point where you can’t have “a human conversation with every other person.”

April 27, 2021

Siebel Newsom later wrote an article for the Huffington Post that said she experienced “aggressive advances” and similar circumstances as other Weinstein accusers.

On Sunday, Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker, strongly denied McGowan’s claims. Her spokesperson told The Times that her “limited correspondence” with McGowan “has been strictly as fellow survivors of sexual assault and in Jennifer’s former capacity leading the Representation Project, an organization that fights limiting gender stereotypes and norms.”

Elder carried with him three decades of provocative right-wing rhetoric that Newsom turned into a scary wake-up alarm for snoozing Democrats, columnist George Skelton writes.

Sept. 13, 2021

Gov. Newsom also called McGowan’s allegations “outrageous and false” and reiterated a string of Elder’s positions that he said were bad for women.


Times staff writers Faith E. Pinho and James Rainey contributed to this report.