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.
Here are the 6 women who testified, Cy Vance, prosecutors and Rosie Perez walking out of the courtroom. People in the halls are clapping and shouting, “Justice!” The women are crying and holding each other as they walk out. pic.twitter.com/1k6CwGOIuj— Elizabeth Wagmeister (@EWagmeister) March 11, 2020
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.
Let us be free— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) March 11, 2020
23 years. Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for his crimes of rape and sexual assault. I literally cried tears of amazement, gratitude that the justice system has worked on behalf of all of his victims today.— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) March 11, 2020
Gratitude to all the silence breakers especially Rose and all survivors of weinstein to the brave women who testified and to the incredible investigative reporting of Ronan farrow who uncovered the sabotage and spying and to david Remnick thank you Rich McKuen and ny times.— Rosanna Arquette🌎✌🏼 (@RoArquette) March 11, 2020
A WIN for the #MeToo Movement .We have finally been respected today & abusers warned! The women who made this possible we THANK YOU with all our hearts ❤️ & @RonanFarrow Game just got OFFICIALLY Changed! Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison https://t.co/cigPa5tp7V— Claire Forlani (@ClaireAForlani) March 11, 2020
I could never celebrate a prison sentence— Daryl Hannah (@dhlovelife) March 11, 2020
even for the remorseless #weinstien
but I absolutely celebrate the fact the
100+ women who came forward publicly
have found some justice
& prevented others from being victimized in the future
It’s only the beginning
So thankful for #jessicamann #mimihaleyi #annabellasciorra for putting our monster where he belongs, and all my sisters who helped to get us here... I feel free. #silencebreakers https://t.co/eRxjuFzcnL— Lucia (@luciaioevans) March 11, 2020
23 years for Harvey Weinstein.— Myleene Klass (@KlassMyleene) March 11, 2020
To the women who stood together, so bravely, I hope this can be the start of some kind of healing.
Now we look to those who concealed his actions, his enablers, those who knew exactly what he was up to...
Accuser Caitlin Dulany wrote a piece for NBC News, describing herself as “stunned.”
"I have a renewed sense of hope and faith that more women will find the courage to come forward with their stories of assault, that they will be believed and that their abusers will be punished," actress Caitlin Dulany writes for @NBCNewsTHINK. https://t.co/tb2wC6JDdE— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 11, 2020
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.”
23yrs!!! Convicted and Sentenced! Today the world shifted that much more for justice! May my dear friend Annabella Sciorra and all these brave women continue to heal and finally find some peace with this victory! #HarveyWeinsteinGuilty https://t.co/QI76zTmdIj— Rosie Perez (@rosieperezbklyn) March 11, 2020
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.
23 years for Harvey Weinstein. @mega2e and I just witnessed it for ourselves. Weinstein was cuffed to his wheelchair then rolled away. The women who testified sobbed afterwards. Irwin Reiter, his accountant of 30 yrs who secretly helped us break the story, sat just behind.— jodikantor (@jodikantor) March 11, 2020
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.
A lot of news underlines how hard it is to hold wealthy and connected people accountable. Today’s shows the power of people who speak up, from a position of far less power, at great personal risk.— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) March 11, 2020
The Weinstein sentence reminds us of the importance of those sources and of leaders at news organizations who refused to kill the story—including the editors at the New Yorker who published the first allegations of rape and assault about Weinstein.— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) March 11, 2020
In a letter to the judge this week, Weinstein’s attorneys said that reporting “destroyed“ his life. In fact, it fairly parsed a mountain of evidence suggesting Weinstein’s actions accomplished that. I hope it encourages more people to speak and more outlets to back tough stories. pic.twitter.com/gTczloKflS— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) March 11, 2020
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:
To all the women who had that sickening feeling of having to choose between preserving their careers vs speaking out against their abuser, and who managed to find their voice, thank you. To those who chose otherwise, you’re loved & supported too. #Weinstein— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) March 11, 2020
This is such incredible news. Again, I thank and honor the incredibly courageous women who came forward and started a conversation that has helped change the world for the better. #Justice #TimesUp https://t.co/YXBudRy48N— Anthony Rapp (@albinokid) March 11, 2020
Harvey Weinstein Is Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison. Thoughts with every courageous women who, knowing the risks, dared to come forward to speak their truth. https://t.co/Rvp3Uj0ISr— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 11, 2020
to the brave women who are survivors of harvey weinstein’s repugnant crimes — both those who were vocal publicly & those who suffered in silence. YOU -along with the journalists who covered the story, #metoo + #timesup have changed the course of future histories. THANK YOU. ♥️+🙏🏻 https://t.co/WnFa1jSG1D— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) March 11, 2020
23 years. God bless you, Jessica Mann, Mimi Hayley and all 108 survivors for your courage and fight. Thank you Ronan Farrow. Thank you Judge Burke. Thank you to the jury. Thank you for believing survivors. Thank you for changing the future for us all.— Ellen Barkin (@EllenBarkin) March 11, 2020
This verdict would not have been possible ten or even five years ago. This is an historic day for women’s equality and holding powerful men accountable for their actions.— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) March 11, 2020
Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in jail! Congratulations to the incredible women who took this monster on, in spite of how maliciously he retaliated. You have made a huge leap forward for all women with this victory. Also so much love to @RonanFarrow ❤️— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) March 11, 2020
My heart goes out to all the woman who came forward. A couple of these women I've known and appreciate as actresses but to see their strength through all this is just so inspiring.— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) March 11, 2020
Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prisonhttps://t.co/TD9RLGcKak
BREAKING: Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for his February conviction of criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree.— TIME'S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) March 11, 2020
The following is a statement from 24 #silencebreakers in response: pic.twitter.com/6LhmIhDaMz
We are grateful for the courage and strength of Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, Lauren Young, and all 100 survivors of abuse, harassment, and rape at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.— TIME'S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) March 11, 2020
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.”
Harvey Weinstein's attorney calls 23 year sentence for sex crime convictions "obnoxious."— ABC News (@ABC) March 11, 2020
"That number did not speak to evidence, nor did it speak to justice." https://t.co/PGq2hCURzZ pic.twitter.com/9830Glj44N
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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