In Brief

Reaction: Harvey Weinstein convicted of rape

Weinstein found guilty of sexual assaults including rape in #MeToo movement landmark

Accusers of Harvey Weinstein have welcomed the guilty verdicts in the rape and sexual assault case against the former Hollywood movie mogul.

Although he was cleared of the most serious count of predatory sexual assault, Weinstein faces up to 25 years in prison over the verdicts relating to two women. His lawyers say he will appeal the judgement “immediately”.

The actress Rose McGowan, one of his earliest accusers, said it was a “great day”, adding that Weinstein will now know how it feels to have “power wrapped around his neck”. 

“Today is not a referendum on #MeToo,” McGowan said. “This is taking out the trash.”

British actress Lysette Anthony, who claims Weinstein raped her at her home in London in the 1980s, added: “This is the day that truth has won. This is a momentous day and this is the day that hiding behind vicious, petty, transactional defence was slaughtered.”

In a joint letter, actresses Ashley Judd, Lucia Evans, Rosanna Arquette and 19 other Weinstein accusers said it was “disappointing that today’s outcome does not deliver the true, full justice that so many women deserve”, but thanked the women who came forward to speak out against Weinstein.

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Tina Tchen, president and chief executive of the anti-sexual harassment Time’s Up movement, said the convictions marked a “new era of justice”.

Ronan Farrow, whose investigation into Weinstein for The New Yorker earned him a Pulitzer Prize for public service, tweeted: “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.”

When the jury of seven men and five women handed down their verdict after five days of deliberations, Weinstein said to his lawyer: “I'm innocent. I'm innocent. How can this happen in America?” 

He was then taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, suffering chest pains, according to the BBC. The New York Post reports that Weinstein is expected to “cool his heels in a Manhattan jail” until his sentencing March 11.

USA Today notes that the verdict is a “partial victory for Weinstein”, after he escaped three other sex crimes charges that carried harsher sentences.

However, the disgraced former Hollywood producer still faces two rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles, with the BBC noting that, in total, at least 80 women have accused him of sexual misconduct, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek.

In December 2019, lawyers said they had also reached a tentative $25m (£19m) deal with some of Weinstein’s accusers

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