Meryl Streep has responded to Rose McGowan after the Scream star called the Oscar-winning actress a hypocrite for staying silent about Harvey Weinstein's alleged crimes.

The 68-year-old actress has issued a statement, wherein she has said that she had no idea that the disgraced movie mogul was involved in alleged rape and sexual harassment of women. She also said that she was unaware that McGowan was "attacked" by Weinstein in the 1990s and in the following decades.

"I wasn't deliberately silent. I didn't know," Streep said in a statement to E! News. "I don't tacitly approve of rape. I didn't know. I don't like young women being assaulted. I didn't know this was happening."

Saying she has never met Weinstein in a hotel room, Streep added neither she knows where he lives nor has she invited him to her home.

Not everyone who worked with Weinstein knew he was a sexual predator, Streep said.

Most did not know that "Weinstein raped Rose in the 90s, other women before and others after until they told us" she said.

She said she did not know that women's' silence was purchased after Weinstein allegedly raped and sexually abused women. "HW needed us not to know this because our association with him brought him credibility, an ability to lure young, aspiring women into circumstances where they would be hurt."

On Saturday, 16 December, McGowan had slammed Streep while ridiculing actresses for planning on wearing all-black attires at the Golden Globes in a "silent protest" against sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.

The 44-year-old had blasted Streep saying she will never effect real change as she is happy accepting "fake" awards. She added that Streep has happily worked for Weinstein in the past.

McGowan had suggested that Streep wear Marchesa, a high-end womenswear brand co-founded by Weinstein's estranged wife Georgina Chapman, who announced she was leaving her husband after the allegations surfaced.

"My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions," Chapman, who married Weinstein in 2007, had said. "I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time."