Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison in his New York City rape case on Wednesday, and there has been no shortage of reactions to the news from his accusers — not to mention the journalists who initially broke the Weinstein scandal, the Manhattan District Attorney, and the disgraced movie mogul’s own legal team.
In court, Weinstein was told by Judge James Burke, “This is your first conviction, not your first offense,” referring to the fact that nearly 100 women have come forward since 2017 to accuse him of sexual harassment or misconduct. The two victims in this case were Jessica Mann, who testified she was raped in 2013, and Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi, who said under oath that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006, and they both delivered poignant victim impact statements. For his part, Weinstein addressed the judge to say that while he has “great remorse,” he’s “confused” by the charges, blaming the #MeToo era for making men vulnerable targets.
The reaction to Weinstein’s sentence was immediate. There were tears in court from within the group that included Mann, Haleyi and the four women — Annabella Sciorra, Tarale Wulff, Dawn Dunning and Lauren Young — who also testified in the trial about Weinstein assaults, helping to lock in a guilty verdict. When those women exited court, people lining the hallway cheered and clapped for them, as well as for Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance, Jr.
And social media has been lit up with reactions, including those from other Weinstein accusers. Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette — some of the silence breakers — are among those to speak out. There were “tears of amazement” that the “justice system worked on behalf of all his victims today” — as well as the hope Weinstein will also be convicted on the sex crime charges he faces in Los Angeles.
Accuser Caitlin Dulany wrote a piece for NBC News, describing herself as “stunned.”
A statement from the “Silence Breakers” — which includes Arquette and Dulany as well as McGowan, Ashley Judd and other Weinstein accusers — said, “Harvey Weinstein’s legacy will always be that he’s a convicted rapist. He is going to jail — but no amount of jail time will repair the lives he ruined, the careers he destroyed, or the damage he has caused.”
It continued, “The Silence Breaker community was founded on solidarity, support, and compassion. The New York trial has ended, but the Silence Breakers will persist in our crusade for cultural change, justice and to have our voices heard.”
Rosie Perez, who testified during the trial to support Sciorra’s sexual-assault allegation, said she hopes the “brave women continue to heal and finally find some peace.”
Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who broke the story about Weinstein’s abuse for the New York Times, were both in court to witness it. Kantor talked about Weinstein being “cuffed to his wheelchair” and “rolled away” as the women who testified during the case “sobbed.” She said Weinstein’s accountant, who “secretly helped us break the story,” was there as well to witness it.
Meanwhile, Ronan Farrow — whose piece for the New Yorker also blew up the Weinstein allegations, after trying unsuccessfully to break the story with NBC News — wrote about the importance of sources coming forward and news organizations seeking the truth.
Here are more of the reactions from Megyn Kelly (who accused Fox News honcho Roger Ailes of sexual harassment), E. Jean Carroll (who accused Donald Trump of sexual assault), Anthony Rapp (who accused Kevin Spacey of misconduct) and many more:
Of course, Weinstein’s own legal team — which plans to appeal — has had much to say, as well. Outside the court, Donna Rotunno went on a tear, calling his 23-year sentence “obnoxious” and “obscene.”
Weinstein’s rep said in a statement to Yahoo Entertainment, "This was a miscarriage of justice from the beginning of the process until now. His sentence doesn't commensurate with the conviction and we believe on appeal, the court's prejudice and the Prosecution's looseness with evidence and procedures, along with the extreme biases that faced Mr. Weinstein before he walked into the courtroom, the evidence will show that this case had no merit.”
And the Manhattan D.A.’s office also issued a statement about its win for “survivors of sexual violence all across the world.”
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