Rose McGowan has lashed out at ‘liberal intellectuals’ for rushing to defend Jeffrey Toobin amid his masturbation scandal.
McGowan led a wave of condemnation aimed at those suggesting the incident was an ‘accident’, pointing out some double standards.
Toobin is currently suspended from the New Yorker while the magazine carries out an investigation into the incident, and is also taking leave from CNN.
It is thought the investigation could spell the end of his career at the New Yorker, where he has spent several decades.
Rose McGowan hit out at ‘liberal intellectuals’ rushing to defend Jeffrey Toobin after he was accused of masturbating on a work Zoom call, pointing out the double-standard
McGowan was responding to Adrianne Lawrence, a Young Turks host and sexual harassment lawyer, who said Toobin’s behavior would qualify as workplace harassment
Toobin (pictured left in New York on Tuesday, and right with wife Amy Bennett McIntosh) is currently suspended from the New Yorker pending an investigation, and is on leave from CNN
His future at CNN is also in doubt, though insiders say the network will probably try to keep him – albeit off air.
When she spoke up, McGowan was responding to a tweet by Young Turks host Adrienne Lawrence, who is also a lawyer specializing in sexual harassment.
‘With #MeToobin trending, I have a few thoughts,’ she wrote.
‘1. Masturbating at work is neither normal nor acceptable—it’s sexual harassment.
‘2. Individuals who engage in sexual harassment should suffer professional consequences.
‘3. These Toobin defenders are telling on themselves.’
McGowan responded: ‘Can you all imagine if a conservative woman was caught masturbating on an meeting like #MeToobin?
McGowan took issue with people using #MeToobin to defend the analyst after the scandal broke
‘If it had been a liberal woman? If it had been a WOC?
‘Do you think there’d be liberal ‘intellectuals’ rising to defend her? She’d be burned at the stake.’
Toobin was seen masturbating on a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues and staff from a local radio station during an ‘election simulation’.
It is thought that the meeting broke off briefly when Toobin thought he had paused his camera and muted his microphone, but in fact both were still rolling.
As people came back into the Zoom room, Toobin appeared to be on another call and was masturbating, staff said.
In a brief statement, Toobin said on Monday: ‘I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera.
‘I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no-one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.
‘I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.’
Among those defending the legal analyst was fellow CNN anchor Brian Stelter, who tweeted about the ‘accident’.
‘Jeffrey Toobin has been sidelined at a pivotal moment in the run-up to the presidential election,’ he wrote.
Among those under fire for defending Toobin was fellow CNN staffer Brian Stelter, who referred to the incident as an ‘accident’
Stelter’s tweet was met with derision, as he was accused of downplaying Toobin’s actions
‘The reason: He exposed himself during a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues in what he says was an accident. Here’s our full story’
Stelter’s post was immediately met with derision from fellow Twitter users who accused him of downplaying the egregiousness of Toobin’s behavior.
‘I’ve never ‘accidentally’ masturbated in any situation and I’d guess that goes for 99.99 percent of people. What was accidental about it, that he was caught?’ one replied to Stelter.
Another wrote: ‘”I believed I was not visible on Zoom” is a lot like “I didn’t know there were cameras in the room where I exposed myself to the victim”.
‘He was in a Zoom meeting with women on company time and couldn’t keep it in his pants? This is not just some embarrassing workplace mix-up.’
A third person chimed in: ‘Toobin was in a work situation. His behavior was completely inappropriate and borders on predatory. He needs to be more than side-lined. He should be fired.’
Writers from other outlets, including left-leaning Vox, Buzzfeed and The Atlantic, also spoke out in defense of Toobin – though some later retracted their statements.
Toobin has previously been the subject of a high-profile paternity suit.
The CNN pundit has been married to wife Amy McIntosh for 34 years, and the pair share two daughters. However, that didn’t stop him from having a decade-long on-off affair with younger lawyer Casey Greenfield.
Greenfield got pregnant in 2008 and Toobin immediately questioned whether he was the parent, balking at taking a paternity test.
When she refused his money for an abortion, he made a counteroffer to ‘swap’ pregnancies — if she agreed to terminate her pregnancy he would pay for her to have a child with a sperm donor.
But Greenfield, who was 35 at the time, decided to go ahead and have the baby boy, whom she called Rory. On the day she gave birth she emailed Toobin, inviting him to meet his son. He didn’t reply.
Brian Stelter’s post was immediately met with derision from fellow Twitter users who accused him of downplaying the egregiousness of Toobin’s behavior
McGowan became a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement alongside Asia Argento (pictured together) after both accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault
Greenfield then sued her lover for child support, according to The New York Times. The case dragged through the courts for two years with Toobin contesting many aspects of his ex’s case.
Eventually he took a DNA test that proved he was the father and Greenfield, the daughter of Toobin’s former CNN colleague Jeff Greenfield, won full custody of the boy, and given all decision-making rights on his upbringing.
Toobin was also described as a sexual predator. A woman the Daily News described as ‘a well-known media figure’ claimed he had approached her at a party many years earlier. ‘He came up behind me and whispered in my ear,’ she told the paper.
The publication refused to say exactly what he allegedly said, claiming it was unfit for a family newspaper. ‘I couldn’t believe my ears. It was so disgusting. At the time, I never even knew people did that,’ the media figure said.
Toobin — who was once described as ‘the Tiger Woods of legal journalism’ — admitted visiting Velvet, a swingers’ club in Miami with political fixer Roger Stone in a 2008 New Yorker article.
‘A flat-screen television on the wall plays porn videos, and many clubgoers disappear into locker rooms and emerge wearing towels,’ he wrote.
‘From there, some of them go into a lounge, a Jacuzzi room, or one of about half a dozen private rooms to have sex—with their dates or with new acquaintances.’