Rose McGowan’s ‘Mystery Man’ Is Barbarian Group Chairman Ben Palmer

By Patrick Coffee 

We’re going to link to the Daily freaking Mail for the first time because yes, it is relevant. Actress and former Marilyn Manson girlfriend Rose McGowan was, in the words of the Mail, “spotted with a new man” in Hollywood on Monday night; last week, she filed for divorce from her husband/visual artist Davey Detail after just over two years of marriage.

The new man in question is Barbarian Group co-founder and chairman Ben Palmer.

The piece (which lacks a byline beyond “ Reporter”) offers no real context for their outing or their maybe-implied relationship…just a bunch of adjectives describing how Ms. McGowan looked that night with her “distinctive freshly shaven head.” She led a panel on women in film Monday before the debut of her first directorial effort, Dawn, and Palmer attended the event with her.


The language in the piece is really quite amusing, as is the native ad(?) for the sweater she was wearing that night. “White socks and eye-catching platform leather Oxfords rounded out her quirky style choices,” did they? Oh, British people!

daily mail

The fact that Palmer was in Los Angeles rather than Barbarian’s home base in New York is not too surprising as we hear that he has not been deeply involved in the agency’s day-to-day operations for several months.

In December, Barbarian’s parent company Cheil Worldwide–which is rumored to be strongly considering takeover offers from Publicis Groupe–pushed CEO Sophie Kelly out and installed former Cheil chief digital officer Peter Kim in her place. We hear that the decision has led to a bit of tension in the New York office…and as soon as we learned of Kelly’s pending departure, we also heard from varied and reputable sources that Palmer would soon follow her.

Expect big announcements to come from Cheil, which also owns McKinney.

(Both parties involved in the Mail story are still legally married to other people, by the way.)