Weinstein’s victims and Silence Breakers grateful for 23-year sentence and ‘future with no monsters in closet’
Women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault referred to as the Silence Breakers released statements through the Time's Up Foundation after Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to prison
Silence Breakers who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault reacted to his prison sentence on Wednesday through the Times Up Foundation and expressed how it felt to see Weinstein get sentenced for 23 years. Miriam “Mimi” Haley and Jessica Mann who testified against Weinstein in the New York trial reacted to the news of his sentence and Haley said, "I’m relieved he will now know he’s not above the law."
According to a report in Deadline, she added, "He violated my trust, my body and my basic right to reject his sexual advances. When he attacked me that evening, it scarred me emotionally and physically. It diminished my confidence and faith in people and my confidence and faith in myself. I’m relieved he will now know he’s not above the law.”
Mann said, "My rape was preventable. This was a known offender whose previous crimes were covered up in a paper trail. I am forced to carry that experience until I die. It is a recurring nightmare that I feel is just as real as when it happened. I have found my voice and hope for a future where monsters no longer hide in our closet.”
A statement from 24 women was released on Times Up's official Instagram page and was captioned, "Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for his February conviction of criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. The above is a statement from 24 #silencebreakers in response," and an update was added later, " Lucia Evans is also a signer to the above statement."
The Silence Breakers includes Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Lauren Sivan, Caitlin Dulany, Dawn Dunning, Dominique Huett, Emily Nestor, Erika Rosenbaum, Jasmine Lobe, Katherine Kendall, Larissa Gomes, Lauren O'Connor, Lisa Rose, Louise Godbold, Louisette Geiss, Lysette Anthony, Paula Williams, Melissa Nesic, Melissa Thompson, Rosanna Arquette, Rowena Chiu, Sarah Ann Masse, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Zoe Brock and Lucia Evans.
In the statement, they said, "Harvey Weinstein's legacy will always be that he's a convicted rapist. He is going to jail -- but no amount of jail time will repair the lives he ruined, the careers he destroyed, or the damage he has caused."
At a press conference coincidentally organized right after Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison after being convicted of a Criminal Sexual Act in the first degree and third-degree rape, survivors also reacted to the news. According to a report in the Hollywood Reporter, Sivan said, "I did not think he would get as strong a sentence as he did but I'm thrilled — it shows that not just the jury but the judge thought that he really was a danger and should have a strong sentence."
She added, "I never thought I would wish this on anyone but I'm pretty happy, he'll most likely die in jail. And aside from that verdict, he'll have to come to LA and face whole new charges. This man will never, ever have the life he used to live and for someone who's been at it for as long as he has, that sentence isn't even the same length of time that some of these women had to live with the trauma he caused."
Some also expressed their surprise at the sentence leaning towards the higher side, considering Weinstein was facing sentence anywhere between 5 and 29 years. Chiu said, "Last week I braced myself for a unanimous acquittal and this week I thought it might be five years and a slap on the wrist... this is tremendous, it's more than any of us ever expected but at the same time it should be a signal for us that our work matters, our voices matter."
Kendall said, "We were seen. I went two of the days and I thought this was one the hardest things I've ever seen, this is really, really real and intense. I left twice feeling a lot of love and sympathy for the women testifying but I also felt defeated in a way, I didn't leave feeling hope. So when he had a guilty verdict that was a huge weight off and today I thought he was going to get five years and he'd get off on good behavior but then there's the LA trial so that'd be good. You keep being glad for the little things, but for it to be what it is, it's kind of a miracle. From where we came from to where we are now, it's huge."
According to a report in Deadline, Mira Sorvino, one of the accusers said, "I literally cried tears of amazement, gratitude that the justice system has worked on behalf of all of his victims today."