‘Where he belongs’: With life in prison likely for Weinstein, accusers react
More than two weeks after jury deliberations began in Los Angeles, the verdict is in for disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. And so are the reactions.
The former Miramax producer, 70, was found guilty Monday of raping a woman, identified in court as Jane Doe 1. He was convicted of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object.
Weinstein faces the possibility of 18 or more years in prison. Given his age, health and the current 23-year term he’s serving after his rape conviction in New York, he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Reacting to Monday’s verdict, Weinstein accuser and California first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom said a life term was what the disgraced movie mogul deserved.
“Harvey Weinstein will never be able to rape another woman. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs,” she said in a statement shared with The Times. “Harvey Weinstein is a serial predator and what he did was rape.
“Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s lawyers used sexism, misogyny, and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean, and ridicule us survivors. This trial was a stark reminder that we as a society have work to do. To all survivors out there — I see you, I hear you, and I stand with you.”
Hollywood Commission Chair Anita Hill said in a statement Monday that the verdict was “a much-needed indication of our commitment to justice and individual accountability. But it is only one case, despite its profile and significance.” She added that the work to prevent sexual assault was ongoing.
“While holding Individuals accountable demonstrates our collective commitment to meaningful change,” the statement said, “the entertainment industry needs to be equally focused on holding our institutions accountable.”
Monday’s reactions were similar to those accompanying the February 2020 guilty verdict in Weinstein’s rape trial in New York.
Earlier this month, the New York Review of Books, arguably the foremost magazine of ideas in the United States, published a cover story online about Jian Ghomeshi, the Canadian broadcaster who was credibly accused of choking and punching non-consenting women during sexual encounters.
In his Los Angeles trial, he faced two counts each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual battery, as well as a count of sexual penetration by a foreign object stemming from allegations made by four women, including Siebel Newsom, who said he attacked them in upscale Beverly Hills hotels between 2004 and 2013. Prosecutors dropped four other counts in the midst of the proceedings when a fifth accuser refused to testify.
The jury could not reach a verdict on the charges stemming from Siebel Newsom’s allegations, with eight in favor of convicting Weinstein and four opposed.
Reacting to Weinstein’s mixed verdict Monday was actor Mira Sorvino, who also spoke out against the longtime producer for sexual misconduct.
“Guilty. Again,” she tweeted. “I only regret that Jane Doe #2 & Jennifer Siebel Newsom & Lauren Young were denied justice.”
During the emotional trial, eight women took the stand to recount brutal attacks they alleged Weinstein committed, in a courtroom overseen by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench.
After a month of harrowing testimony from eight women who say the former Hollywood mogul raped them, Los Angeles County prosecutors have rested their case against Harvey Weinstein.
Prosecutors made closing arguments in the case on Nov. 30, and Weinstein’s defense attorneys gave theirs on Dec. 1. The jury began deliberations on Dec. 2 and met for nine days over a two-week period.
In a statement Monday, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón praised the women who spoke out about Weinstein for exhibiting “extraordinary bravery in a case that put them in the national spotlight.” He noted that taking the stand could be “brutal,” adding: “They deserve better than what the system has given them.”
And like others who have supported the Weinstein survivors, Gascon said he was disappointed with the split verdict.
“These cases are never easy and this is no exception,” he wrote. “Our team will meet to determine whether or not we intend to retry the counts that were hung.”
Los Angeles County supervisor Lindsey Horvath tweeted Monday that the verdict “is an important step toward justice for the women [Weinstein] has manipulated and abused throughout his lifetime.”
“The acquittal on remaining charges is the latest step backward in what’s become a troubling regression against efforts to combat a culture of harassment and misconduct in Hollywood,” tweeted the nonprofit Women in Film.
See WIF’s full response in a Twitter thread below.
Times staff writers James Queally and Noah Goldberg contributed to this report.
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