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Fame and celebrity

#MeToo pioneer Rose McGowan, indicted on drug charge, says she’s being targeted for her activism

The trial for the actress, who is accused of leaving a wallet containing cocaine inside a plane, is set for January

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 5:01am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 6:37am

Actress, author and activist Rose McGowan is set to go to trial in January in Loudoun County, Virginia, on a cocaine possession charge.

McGowan, who was indicted on Monday, is accused of leaving a wallet with cocaine inside on a plane at Dulles International Airport near Washington last year. On Tuesday, her trial in Loudoun County Circuit Court was set for January 15. It is expected to last two days.

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McGowan says she is being targeted for her advocacy against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The former Charmed star was among the first to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault and was a pioneer in the #MeToo movement.

“Rose steadfastly maintains her innocence,” her lawyer Jose Baez said in a statement. “These charges would have never been brought if it weren’t for her activism as a voice for women everywhere. I assure you, this selective prosecution will be met with a strong defence.”

At a hearing last month, prosecutors made the case that McGowan’s wallet was properly handled from the moment it was found on a United Airlines plane early on the morning of January 21, 2017. McGowan had flown in for the Women’s March on Washington that day.

Cleaning crew members testified that they handed the wallet to authorities as soon as they discovered white powder inside.

A detective testified that when he called McGowan about the wallet and said she would have to pick it up at the airport police department, she said she would come but never did.

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Defence lawyer Jessica Carmichael said, however, that there was not enough evidence to prove McGowan’s guilt, pointing to inconsistencies among witnesses as well as the hours that passed between the flight’s landing and the wallet’s discovery.

In Virginia, possession of any amount of cocaine is a felony carrying a punishment of up to 10 years in prison.