Harvey Weinstein's 23-year sentence welcomed by Time’s Up group, lawyers and journalists who broke the story

Dr. Dena Grayson, a former Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, wrote: “Good riddance to this predator. Bye!” A look at how people reacted to Weinstein's sentencing


                            Harvey Weinstein's 23-year sentence welcomed by Time’s Up group, lawyers and journalists who broke the story
Harvey Weinstein (AP Photo)

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced on Wednesday, March 11, to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault. Weinstein, who has been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting a number of women, was convicted last month of raping a woman in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman at his apartment in 2006.

One of Weinstein's lawyers, Donna Rotunno, reacting to the sentencing, claimed the judge and jury in the trial had discarded “90 percent” of the evidence in the case, supposedly evidence of ongoing relationships with his accusers. Speaking to Deadline, Rotunno further said, “Harvey feels terrible, of course, he does. This is not an easy day. We hope the sentence will speak to an appellate court in a way that will show that this has been unfair from the very beginning and this is just one more thing that we can add to the list of things… that did not show a fair, just and impartial trial.”

She added that Weinstein had “asserted his innocence and while the appeal is going on that is not going to change.”

Aside from Weinstein’s lawyers, however, most people were in a celebratory mood. Jill Greenfield, a personal injury lawyer who began civil proceedings against Weinstein in 2017, told Variety, “When I started this case, I said no one is above the law and I hoped that was going to be right, and this sentence proves to me that that really is right. It should embolden women around the world because the law works.”

The advocacy group Time’s Up U.K. said in a statement, “The precedence of this case cannot be underestimated. A group of brave women were listened to and believed,” adding, “The importance of this case is not that this ends harassment but that it provides a dent in a system which we know from revelations at Fox and CBS Corporation among others, has been systemic in our industry and broader society. This is not a situation of one bad wolf.”

On Twitter, Dr. Dena Grayson, a former Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, wrote: “Good riddance to this predator. Bye, Felicia!”

Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly wrote, “To all the women who had that sickening feeling of having to choose between preserving their careers vs. speaking out against their abuser, and who managed to find their voice, thank you. To those who chose otherwise, you’re loved and supported too. #Weinstein.”

Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times investigative reporter Jodi Kantor, who along with Megan Twohey broke the Weinstein story, wrote on Twitter: “23 years for Harvey Weinstein. [Megan Twohey] and I just witnessed it for ourselves. Weinstein was cuffed to his wheelchair then rolled away. The women who testified sobbed afterwards. Irwin Reiter, his accountant of 30 years who secretly helped us break the story, sat just behind.”

Investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, who was also instrumental in breaking the Weinstein story for The New Yorker magazine, said, “A lot of news underlines how hard it is to hold wealthy and connected people accountable. Today’s shows the power of people who speak up, from a position of far less power, at great personal risk.”

Farrow added, “The Weinstein sentence reminds us of the importance of those sources and of leaders at news organizations who refused to kill the story—including the editors at the New Yorker who published the first allegations of rape and assault about Weinstein.”

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