#MeToo: Accusers, Activists Respond to the Harvey Weinstein Verdict
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#MeToo: Accusers, Activists Respond to the Harvey Weinstein Verdict

Harvey Weinstein was charged on two counts of criminal sex acts by New York court yesterday, for which he faces up to 25 years in prison

Disgraced Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, was finally convicted on two counts yesterday at his New York trial. Weinstein was convicted of a criminal sex act by a New York jury against his former production assistant Mimi Haleyi back in 2006. He was also charged for raping an aspiring actress named Jessica Mann, back in 2013. However, he has been acquitted on the most serious accusation that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life. The jury let him go on two counts of predatory sexual assault that could have given him a life sentence. He currently faces up to 25 years in prison, reported Al Jazeera. Following the verdict, many women celebrated as it marked a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement. Here are some of the reactions to it, as compiled from Reuters.

Hollywood actress Annabella Sciorra – who is one of the prosecution witnesses, said: “My testimony was painful but necessary. I spoke for myself and with the strength of the 80+ victims of Harvey Weinstein in my heart. While we hope for continued righteous outcomes that bring absolute justice, we can never regret breaking the silence. For in speaking truth to power we pave the way for a more just culture, free of the scourge of violence against women.”

Rose McGowan – who accused Weinstein of raping her, added: “Today is a powerful day and a huge step forward in our collective healing.”

Ashley Judd, who accused the producer of sexual misconduct back in 2017, commented: “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.”

Harvey Weinstein

Rosanna Arquette – who said she resisted unwanted sexual advances by Weinstein shared: “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.”

A group of Weinstein accusers, who call themselves the Silence Breakers also released a statement. It said, “While it is disappointing that today’s outcome does not deliver the true, full justice that so many women deserve, Harvey Weinstein will now forever be known as a convicted serial predator. This has been a flawed process from the beginning but has further exposed the difficulties women face in coming forward, to tell the truth about powerful abusers.”

Time’s Up president Tina Tchen 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. The jury’s verdict sends a powerful message to the world of just how much progress has been made since the Weinstein Silence Breakers ignited an unstoppable movement. While we celebrate this historic moment, our fight to fix the broken system that has allowed serial abusers like Harvey Weinstein to abuse women in the first place continues. Abusers everywhere and the powerful forces that protect them should be on notice: There’s no going back.”

Reese Witherspoon also tweeted, “Today’s historic win in the Weinstein trial is a testament to the bravery and resilience of the Silence Breakers, and a victory for survivors everywhere. This is just the beginning.” Likewise, Ronan Farrow, a New York journalist who has been reporting on the Weinstein case since its inception back in 2017 concluded, “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 prosecutors at great personal cost and risk. Please keep those women in your thoughts today.”

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By Shaheera Anwar
A multimedia journalist who keeps a keen eye on the latest happenings in the world of entertainment and often writes reviews along with opinion pieces on some of the most-talked-about debates