'Taking out the trash': Weinstein's accusers react to guilty verdict
The actress Rose McGowan has said Harvey Weinstein will finally know how it feels to have “power wrapped around his neck” after he was convicted of rape and sexual assault.
McGowan was one of a number of the former Hollywood producer’s accusers to express their relief after the verdict on Monday.
Weinstein, who was called a “vicious sexual predator” after the trial, is facing up to 25 years in prison after a New York City jury found him guilty of attacks on two women.
It was the first trial of the #MeToo era, which was sparked by a torrent of allegations against the 67-year-old studio boss in October 2017.
McGowan, one of the earliest and most prominent of Weinstein’s accusers, said: “Today is a powerful day and a huge step forward in collective healing.
“Twenty years ago I decided to come after Weinstein because I’d heard about him doing this to someone else, and then I heard him doing it to someone else, and someone else.
“Every one of us who has come forward, we have a name, we have a history, we have a life, we are more than Weinstein. But today, because of the brave women, who bared their deepest hurt for the world to see, he’s in Rikers Island.
“For once he won’t be sitting comfortably. For once he will know what it’s like to have power wrapped around his neck.
“Today is not a referendum on #MeToo, this is taking out the trash.”
McGowan, who alleges she was assaulted by Weinstein in the 1990s, also praised the other women who came forward and said she wanted to cause a “massive cultural reset”.
British actress Lysette Anthony alleges Weinstein raped her at her home in London in the 1980s.
The Hollyoaks star paid tribute to the women who testified in court and attacked Weinstein’s defence team for how they attempted to shield a “very rich, serial, predatory, rapist”.
She said: “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.
“That’s what we did and I am very proud to be part with you all.”
Actress Ashley Judd, another of the dozens of women to make allegations against Weinstein, tweeted: “For the women who testified in this case, and walked through traumatic hell, you did a public service to girls and women everywhere, thank you.”
American journalist Gretchen Carlson tweeted: “I hope the handcuffs are tight.”
Weinstein was accused throughout his trial of using his immense power and influence to exploit women and the jury heard harrowing testimony from a string of accusers.
He was convicted on charges stemming from a 2006 sexual assault and a 2013 rape.
The jury found Weinstein not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, that could have resulted in a life sentence.
Tina Tchen, president and chief executive of the Time’s Up foundation, said the convictions marked a “new era of justice”.
She said: “This trial, and the jury’s decision today, marks a new era of justice, not just for the Silence Breakers, who spoke out at great personal risk, but for all survivors of harassment, abuse, and assault at work.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, Lauren Young, and all the Silence Breakers for their bravery and resolve as they faced this man in court.”
New Yorker journalist Ronan Farrow, who broke stories about allegations against Weinstein, wrote on Twitter: “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.”
Following the verdict, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr hailed a “new day”.
He said: “This is the new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in America. This is a new day.
“It’s a new day because Harvey Weinstein has finally been held accountable for crimes he committed. The women who came forward courageously, and at great risk, made that happen.”
He added: “Weinstein is a vicious, serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault and trick, humiliate and silence his victims.”