Rose McGowan has described Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction as a watershed moment and claimed that he “could be one of the biggest serial rapists in history”.

McGowan, who emerged as one of the most high-profile figures in efforts to expose Weinstein after the New York Times reported in 2017 that she had received $100,000 from Weinstein as a settlement over an alleged rape in 1997. It is one of a string of instances in which women are believed to have received payments.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, McGowan said she would not pursue a case against Weinstein because her allegations had passed the statute of limitations. She called his conviction this week an “unbelievable achievement” and said the testimony of her near contemporary Annabella Sciorra was “really vital in giving context that this is a longstanding pattern and not something that happened out of the blue”.

Weinstein was not convicted of any offence against Sciorra.

McGowan added: “If we do the math … [Weinstein] could be one of the biggest serial rapists in history, because he had a full machine set up only to rape … there was a rape factory, that was [his] business behind the scenes.”

She also described how isolated she became after she went public with her claims. “[Weinstein] very much came after me, he and his giant machine of other monsters, people that he paid to do dastardly things … I would go to events and sit next to people in Hollywood … and they would turn their face away, like I had something they didn’t want to catch.”

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