Actress Rose McGowan has defended herself after comparing being photographed on the red carpet to getting sexually assaulted.

McGowan noted in an op-ed that a reporter once asked her if she “felt it was inappropriate for the camera to pan up and down (a women’s) body”.

She replied: “It felt like visual rape.”

The actress later came under fire for her comment and was trolled by many over social media.

Defending herself on the micro-blogging site, McGowan said: “Of the spirit, it’s a metaphor. Jesus. And I know what rape is. You might not. You don’t know what it’s like to be consumed by cameras as a woman and dissected for pleasure.”

To a fan who said she insulted rape survivors with the comparison, McGowan responded: “I’m one, too. Sit down.”

She then posted a photograph of herself holding a statuette of late actress Marilyn Monroe.

She captioned it: “Ask her if it felt rapey. And you don’t get to tell me how I feel. So f**k off.”