The landmark conviction of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has sent shockwaves across the world.
Michelle Simpson Tuegel, the laywer who represented survivors Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann, said the decision would see a wave of women come forward now that the #MeToo movement has started to achieve justice.
“No matter how powerful a person is, no matter how much mud or dirt may be flung at those who have the courage to come forward, we are in a new time,” she said.
“The #MeToo era has thankfully started to unmask these systems of abuse of power, and now women can be heard and believed.”
During the trial, Haley was in tears as she told the jury, “I figured it was pointless,” describing Weinstein as both Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
“If he heard the word ‘no’, it was like a trigger for him,” she said.
Several of Weinstein’s accusers expressed gratitude and relief at the outcome. Haley and Mann, the two accusers represented in the case, have not yet made statements.
Actor Rosanna Arquette tweeted her gratitude to the “brave women who’ve testified”.
Gratitude to the brave women who’ve testified and to the jury for seeing through the dirty tactics of the defense .we will change the laws in the future so that rape victims are heard and not discredited and so that it’s easier for people to report their rapes
— Rosanna Arquette????✌???? (@RoArquette) February 24, 2020
Ashley Judd, another of the Silence Breakers who was not represented in the case, said that in testifying, Haley and Mann “did a public service to girls and women everywhere.”
— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) February 24, 2020
Rose McGowan called the moment “a huge step forward in our collective healing.”
Today is a powerful day & a huge step forward in our collective healing
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) February 24, 2020
Mira Sorvino shared similar sentiments, saying that there would be “more to come.”
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) February 24, 2020
Investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, whose reporting of allegations against Weinstein helped spur the #MeToo movement, reflected on the “great personal cost and risk” faced by the women who spoke out.
Today’s outcome in Harvey Weinstein’s New York trial is the result of the decisions of multiple women to come forward to journalists and to prosecutors at great personal cost and risk. Please keep those women in your thoughts today.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) February 24, 2020
Model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez addressed reporters outside the New York Supreme Court building.
“I wanted to have a positive feeling about this situation,” she said. “And I’m super happy, because it’s like getting back all these years that I lost in the process of trying to get him to justice.”
“So, yeah, I’m happy now. And, of course, I know it’s a start, so from here there will be a moving conversation.”
Other survivors and accusers of sexual assault also showed solidarity with Weinstein’s survivors and accusers shortly after the verdict.
Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, who successfully filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the late Roger Ailes in 2016, said, “I hope the handcuffs are tight.”
— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) February 24, 2020
Meanwhile, Anthony Rapp, who accused Kevin Spacey of sexual assaulting him when he was a 14-year-old child, thanked Weinstein’s accusers for stepping forward.
I applaud the women who bravely stepped forward to help forever alter the conversation around what they — and all of us — have to put up with. Gratified to see some justice being served here. #MeToo https://t.co/wR4f66uecj
— Anthony Rapp (@albinokid) February 24, 2020
New York district attorney Cyrus Vance also praised the courage of the women who spoke out.
“Weinstein with his manipulation, his resources, his attorneys, his publicists and his spies did everything he could to silence the survivors. But they wouldn’t be silenced, spoke from their hearts, and were heard,” he said.
Over 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual assault. Today’s conviction relates to accusations from two of these women.
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Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.Image: Getty Images / Spencer Platt