Rose McGowan says Weinstein ‘will know what it’s like to have power wrapped around his neck’
Various emotions overwhelmed a group of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers as they delivered statements following Monday’s verdict in his rape trial.
The Silence Breakers — some of the many women who have accused the disgraced movie mogul of sexual misconduct — held a news conference call immediately after a New York jury found Weinstein guilty of rape and a felony sex crime but acquitted him on the two most serious charges of predatory sexual assault.
“This has been a crazy and traumatic experience, but really happy to hear the verdict today,” said Dawn Dunning, a former actress who testified in the trial. “My overwhelming feeling is that it’s really nice to see that money and power doesn’t make you completely untouchable, and that your voice can be heard and justice can be served.”
Composed of more than 20 women, the Silence Breakers are Dunning, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Caitlin Dulany, Dominique Huett, Emily Nestor, Erika Rosenbaum, Jasmine Lobe, Jessica Barth, Katherine Kendall, Larissa Gomes, Lauren O’Connor, Lauren Sivan, Lisa Rose, Louise Godbold, Louisette Geiss, Lucia Evans, Lysette Anthony, Melissa Sagemiller Nesic, Paula Williams, Rosanna Arquette, Rowena Chiu, Sarah Ann Masse and Zoe Brock.
More than 80 women accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, and many of them spoke out Monday after the mogul was convicted on two of five counts.
By the end of the session, 18 offered remarks — prepared and unprepared — praising the “strong and brave” women who testified, thanking the jury that “saw past the victim-blaming defense,” and expressing their hopes for more progress in the future. Several of the speakers, calling from cities including London and Los Angeles, fought tears and apologized for getting “emotional” while sharing their thoughts.
“Today is a powerful day, and a huge step forward in collective healing,” McGowan said. “For once, [Weinstein] won’t be sitting comfortably. For once, he will know what it’s like to have power wrapped around his neck.”
Before the call, the Silence Breakers released a joint statement within minutes of the jury’s decision, lauding those who took the stand and promising “swift justice” as Weinstein next faces four more counts of rape and sexual battery charges in Los Angeles.
“While it is disappointing that today’s outcome does not deliver the true, full justice that so many women deserve,” the statement read, “Harvey Weinstein will now forever be known as a convicted serial predator.”
Read some of the women’s full statements below.
Rose McGowan: “Today is a powerful day and a huge step forward in collective healing. Twenty years ago, I decided to come after Weinstein because I heard about him doing this to someone else. And then I heard him doing it to someone else and someone else. And 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. But what I wanted to do was cause a massive cultural reset. We achieved that already with what happened today. The trash man came, and he said to all the little girls and the little boys that get hurt in this world, ‘Someday maybe you, too, can have a voice.’ We’re in a privileged position. Only 2% of rapes get convictions. It’s a bizarre thing, to feel privileged over being able to have a voice after being raped. But here we are. I believe we can be better as a world, as a people, as humans. Today is one more step forward in that direction.”
Mira Sorvino: “I have so much gratitude and admiration for the six brave women who testified, who endured efforts to demean and discredit them, and ultimately prevailed in putting a monster behind bars. Harvey Weinstein has haunted many of our lives, even our nightmares, long after he initially did what he did to each one of us. We have finally taken that power back. And we have exposed his evil and that of others like him. He will rot in jail as he deserves, and we will begin to have some closure. Any survivor out there who is scared and hopeless and doesn’t know what to do — know that we are here for you, and there is hope and love and light and community. Together, we have and will continue to make change in the laws and the culture, and this is just a drop in a wave of justice to come for predators and survivors everywhere.”
Rosanna Arquette: “I want to thank the jury, who did use their common sense and saw past the victim-blaming defense, for convicting predator Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape. Although we prayed that he would be charged on all five counts, this is a step in the right direction. It’s vindication for all the women that he has harmed and gives hope to other victims, that when they report a crime, their voices will be heard. We want to thank and support the brave and honest women and witnesses who took the stand to see that justice be served in a court of law. Moving forward, we must actively pursue strengthening laws and closing loopholes in our criminal system so that more rape cases will be prosecuted, and rapists will be held accountable for their crimes. But today, let’s focus on the progress that has been made with the first guilty verdict in the #MeToo era.”
Dawn Dunning: “This has been a crazy and traumatic experience, but I’m really happy to hear the verdict today. I want to thank the jurors and the city of New York and the District Attorney’s Office. And mainly my overwhelming feeling is that it’s really nice to see that money and power doesn’t make you completely untouchable, and your voice can be heard and justice can be served. ... It was extremely intense, being in the courtroom, as you can imagine. Sitting next to the jury, I felt like I connected with them a little bit. I felt like there was a couple of them shaking their head during cross examination, when his lawyers were really going after me. I felt their defense was a lot of victim-blaming, and the bottom line is: You can be in a consensual relationship and still be raped, and I think that that translated.”
Zoe Brock: “I have not prepared a statement, so this is just going to be a little emotional blurt, which is probably pretty similar to coming out against Harvey in the first place. This is a huge day. I’m crying right now because I expected the worst. Because for us, the worst keeps happening. In Hollywood, especially, for sexual assault victims, the worst keeps happening. And when Roman Polanski got a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival last year, I really just anticipated that Harvey Weinstein was going to get off today, and that he would make a comeback, and that he would go to the Oscars, and that he would win again. But that’s not going to happen. Because now Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist. And right now he’s sitting in ... jail, and I am so happy about it. And I’m so proud of everyone who came forward. And my heart leaps right now for everybody. I just think it’s the best news.”
Caitlin Dulany: “I am incredibly grateful to the jury for convicting Harvey Weinstein of the two counts that they convicted him on. While I’m disappointed that he wasn’t convicted on the predatory sexual assault charges — because we know that’s what he is — I am so buoyed by the fact that the jury has convicted him on both Mimi [Haley] and Jessica’s [Mann] charges. What those women went through on the stand broke my heart, and I’m so happy today that the jury believed them. And I have a renewed sense of faith that women will be believed when they come forward. And this is absolutely a day of reckoning for Harvey Weinstein, as I hoped it would be. It’s incredibly difficult to speak out. These past two years have been incredibly difficult, and we were really hoping to change the world with this. And I think today is a good indication that we are on that road to changing the world in terms of survivors.”
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