Harvey Weinstein

What Weinstein Accusers Are Saying About the Shock Reversal

Author: Editors Desk, Emily Shugerman Senior Reporter Pilar Melendez Senior National Reporter Source: The Daily Beast:
April 26, 2024 at 05:51
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Dozens of accusers reacted with shock and outrage to a New York Court overturning the disgraced producer’s conviction on Thursday. Here’s what they had to say.

More than 80 women have accused producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. On Thursday, dozens of them expressed their shock and outrage when news broke that a New York court had overturned his 2020 rape conviction.The decision from the New York Court of Appeals means the Manhattan DA’s office will once again have to try the serial predator, and his accusers may once again have to take the stand. His conviction on one count of sexual assault in connection with a 2013 attack on a woman inside a Beverly Hills hotel still stands.

His accusers’ response ranged from heartbreak—“My body is shaking,” one texted—to anger and defiance. The women vowed to continue the fight against sexual violence and predation, regardless of the court outcome.Here, in their own words, is what they had to say.

Ambra Gutierrez, model and activist:

“If the DA had taken my case seriously in 2015, we wouldn’t be here. This is an on-going failure of the justice system—and the courts—to take survivors seriously and to protect our interests. I care about justice. DA Bragg ran for office in 2021 because his predecessor failed so many of us. We expect him to pursue Weinstein now. New York lawmakers can also do right by survivors by making the Adult Survivors Act permanent, so that survivors can at least seek justice in the civil system when the criminal courts fail us.”

Caitlin Dulany, actress and activist:

“I am deeply saddened and absolutely devastated by today’s ruling.So many of us lived with our stories for years. What Harvey Weinstein did to us affected our lives and careers in ways that we will never recover from. It is a travesty of justice, but I’m not surprised. The justice system is in deep need of reform. What happened this morning is a terrible set back for survivors everywhere who are brave enough to come forward with the stories of abuse. I am forever grateful to the women who testified at Harvey Weinstein’s New York trial, at great personal cost. The fight goes on and survivors will win in the end.”

Gloria Allred, attorney for key prosecution witness Mimi Haley:

“Even though the process of testifying was grueling and re-traumatizing for Mimi, she reaffirmed to me today that she would consider testifying again if District Attorney Alvin Bragg decided to proceed with a new trial of Harvey Weinstein. I commend Mimi on her courage and willingness to keep standing up for the truth.The decision of the New York Court of Appeals today is a significant step backwards for the “Me Too” movement in criminal cases in New York.The decision means that it will be more difficult to convict those who victimize women and prey on them. As a result, fewer prosecutions will be brought against sexual predators and many will escape the justice that they deserve.Although victims have lost this battle they have not lost the war. We will continue to fight for justice for victims both in criminal and civil cases until there is a fair trial not just for the accused but also for those who allege that they are victims of sexual predators.”

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, first lady of California:

“This is a very sad day for countless women who suffered at the hands of a serial predator. Two juries have said unequivocally: Harvey Weinstein must never be able to rape another woman, and he deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Harvey Weinstein is a serial predator and rapist.The criminal trial in Los Angeles was one of the most horrific experiences of my life. Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s lawyers used brute sexism, misogyny, and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean, and ridicule survivors along with our allies.Yet, the bravery of the women who came forward ensures that regardless of what happens in New York, Weinstein will die in prison. Most men are good men—it’s the serial perpetrators of violence against women who are the harm to our society. I am so proud of all who risked so much to speak their truth. To all survivors out there—I see you, I hear you, and I will always stand with you.”

Sarah Ann Masse, actor, writer, filmmaker, and founder of the non-profit Hire Survivors Hollywood:

“Regardless of today’s ruling, the truth of what Harvey Weinstein did was never in question. Long before the trials, long before the silence was broken in the press, long before this was international news, those of us who were abused by him knew that this man was a sexual predator.The subsequent court rulings served as a form of justice, an affirmation that we were believed, and a step towards challenging societal beliefs that are built on a foundation of rape culture and victim blaming. But please know that nothing about today’s decision implies or states that Weinstein is innocent. And the world has been forever changed by the women who were brave enough to challenge him in court. However this is a stark reminder that the criminal justice system is not set up to serve actual justice and that anyone insisting that “me too is over” or “has gone too far” needs to look at the actual state of the world.Abusers are given chance after chance to get back their “normal lives” while survivors continue to suffer from a lack of support, prolonged trauma, chronic illnesses, mental health struggles, economic harm, and various forms of retaliation.”


Melissa Thompson:

“The New York Court of Appeals’ staggering reversal of Harvey Weinstein’s criminal conviction has ignited a resounding cry for action from his victims —myself included. We urge lawmakers and judicial systems nationwide to respond.The fact that Weinstein, an unequivocal serial rapist, has succeeded in overturning his criminal conviction is an alarming public safety concern. It is imperative that each state undertake a thorough examination and fortify its criminal and civil codes of evidence, laws, and procedural regulations.The #MeToo movement blazed a trail that ultimately attained well-deserved justice in 2020. Regrettably, today’s appellate court decision represents a disgraceful and egregious procedural failure that reverberates throughout the realm of sexual assault victims.”


Louisette Geiss, writer and producer:

“This narrowly overturned appeal is extremely disappointing but it does not negate Weinstein’s guilt. This ruling today is a sad reminder of the uphill battle that women and survivors of sexual predators continue to face to be heard, validated, and ultimately, receive justice.Regardless of today’s ruling, I and my fellow silence breakers know the truth—the truth that this man, who was previously glorified—is nothing more than a sexual predator, and two courts of law agree with my statement. With serial predators we should be able to show prior bad acts and a pattern. End of discussion. I am now even more grateful we fought to make Weinstein accountable in California. It cannot be underestimated the profound effects his crimes had on me and my fellow survivors and our families.What I implore people to remember is how hard it was for all of the silence breakers to go through any of these trials. Yet, now once again, we are called to step up. That said, I will personally not allow my children to live in a world where Cosby & Weinstein can dine or prey publicly ever again.”


“The Silence Breakers,” a group of Weinstein survivors:

“The news today is not only disheartening, but it’s profoundly unjust. But this ruling does not diminish the validity of our experiences or our truth; it's merely a setback. The man found guilty continues to serve time in a California prison.When survivors everywhere broke their silence in 2017, the world changed. We continue to stand strong and advocate for that change. We will continue to fight for justice for survivors everywhere.”


Jessica Barth, actress and founder and president of Voices in Action:

“The decision to overturn Harvey Weinstein’s conviction is a tragic step backwards in the fight for justice and accountability for victims of sexual violence and it sets a dangerous precedent concerning sexual assault cases. Evidence of prior bad acts in order to prove a pattern of behavior is often allowed in criminal cases and should absolutely be allowed in sexual assault cases.The emotional and physical toll a trial takes on victims testifying in front of their rapist is unfathomable to anyone who has never had to endure that experience especially when the justice system is stacked against victims. My thoughts are with all of the survivors who took the stand and face the possibility of having to do it again.Voices in Action will continue to support and fight for justice for victims of these horrific crimes everywhere.”


Louise Godbold, executive director at Echo Parenting & Education:

“We thought it was finished. We thought we could finally move on. Today’s news ignites all the panic, the fear, the confusion of the original trauma. My body is shaking ... I’ll be fine. He can’t overturn our truth even if he manages to overturn his conviction.”
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