ENTERTAINMENT
02/02/2018 02:21 pm ET Updated Feb 05, 2018

Rose McGowan Says Her Iconic VMAs Dress Was A 'Political Statement' After Assault

“That was my first public appearance after being sexually assaulted. I was like, ‘Is this what you want?’”

Rose McGowan caused a media frenzy when she showed up to the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards in an extremely revealing beaded dress.

But according to McGowan, looking sexy wasn’t the motivation behind her red carpet moment. The actress told Dr. Oz on Thursday that the sheer outfit, which fully exposed her butt and breasts, wasn’t a fashion statement but a political one.

Marilyn Manson and Rose McGowan pose at the 1998 VMAs.
Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images
Marilyn Manson and Rose McGowan pose at the 1998 VMAs.

“That was my first public appearance after being sexually assaulted. I was like, ‘Is this what you want?’” McGowan said Thursday. She was presumably referring to her accusations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

McGowan added, “I’ve never worn something like that before or since. That was a political statement that … of course, there was no Twitter at the time or Instagram, no way to speak for yourself.”

McGowan did publicly comment about the dress in 1999 on “The Roseanne Show.”

“It made me laugh,” she said two decades ago. “I also was delirious because I had like a 103-degree fever and I was on so much Sudafed, just trying to get through the day.”

She said that she’d wanted an ensemble that would “cause a scene,” but she hadn’t realized the front was see-through.

McGowan also said back then that because the VMAs were a “rock show,” she figured there would be other outrageous outfits like her own.

“But I was the only freak freakin’ it out. But that’s OK!”

CONVERSATIONS