‘Finally’: Ashley Judd and Other Weinstein Accusers Respond to Verdict

Harvey Weinstein was as soon as lauded as one in every of Hollywood’s most dynamic movie producers. Now, after a Manhattan jury convicted him of two felony intercourse crimes, he faces the prospect of years in jail.

While the New York case was narrowly targeted — the prison expenses centered largely on simply two ladies — its symbolism was sweeping. More than 90 ladies have accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual misconduct, and the allegations towards him set off the worldwide #MeToo motion.

Mr. Weinstein is the primary high-profile man to be ousted from a place of energy through the motion and then criminally prosecuted. (He has denied all allegations of nonconsensual intercourse.)

Moments after the jury introduced its determination on Monday, The New York Times requested a few of Mr. Weinstein’s accusers, different stakeholders within the #MeToo motion and authorized specialists to interpret the decision’s that means.

Their responses have been edited and condensed.

Ashley Judd was the primary actress to publicly accuse Mr. Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

The story of #MeToo, of what the motion is about, is that males not have tacit permission to use their energy or status to sexually entry ladies’ and ladies’s our bodies. Their energy and place can’t be utilized in secret or within the open to exploit asymmetry of energy. There shall be penalties within the courtroom, in employment and in society.

This is the best way it’s supposed to be. This is the best way it’s supposed to be.

And I believe that Harvey’s responsible verdict demonstrates how overwhelmingly responsible he was. A perpetrator has to be overwhelmingly responsible for justice to be served at the moment.

I’d love for Harvey to have a restorative justice course of through which he may come emotionally to phrases along with his wrongs. The prison justice system is a distant second to a extra humane sort of course of. This is what he has created for himself: jail, lack of regret, lack of accountability. The man goes to jail for intercourse crimes.

It was definitely the most stressful thing I’ve done in my life.

Tarana Burke is the activist who started the original #MeToo movement more than a decade ago.

Most of us will never see the inside of the courtroom, but these women got to take the stand, look him in the eye, and ‘You did this to me.’

He will forever be guilty. That’s a thing we have.

Aya Gruber is a former defense lawyer and a law professor at the University of Colorado.

I have mixed reactions about the whole case. On the one hand, I am myself a sexual assault survivor and I believe that the #MeToo movement is good. On the other hand, as a former defense attorney, hinging the future of women’s rights on a criminal conviction is a little troubling to me.

The thought that one case could be representative of the entire world of victims and defendants is just wrong. But that’s what happened in this case. It became symbolic of not just the entire universe of sexual assault cases, but the entire women’s movement.

When we bend rules to favor prosecutors, it’s not always the Harvey Weinsteins. When you look at the majority of sex offenders, especially as we’re broadening the definition of what counts as a sex offense, a lot of them are juveniles. People who are figuring out their sexuality. A lot of them are people of color and from marginalized neighborhoods. And they’re going to be caught up in a system that is extremely harsh, and possibly branded for life.

What is the fallout from a #MeToo movement that insists on incarceration as part of its justice goals?

Harvey Weinstein needed to be held accountable. But sex offenders have a horrible time in jail. It is going to be terrible, state-imposed suffering and torture. I have a hard time feeling happy about that. If accountability can only come through decades in horrific conditions in jail, I don’t love that. Not for anyone.

Irwin Reiter worked as Mr. Weinstein’s corporate accountant for 30 years. He provided information to The Times that allowed the paper to break the story of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged misbehavior in 2017.

The quotes were always the same coming out of his mouth. Everyone who worked for him heard it a thousand times: “I’m superman and you’re not. I’m a genius and you’re all clerks.” The guy thought he could do whatever he wanted.

When they said it was seven men on the jury, I said: good. Because most men are just as appalled by his behavior. It’s time for men who witness bad behavior to have the courage to step up and bear witness to it. Never ever forget that these abused women can be your daughter.

Fatima Goss Graves is the president of the National Women’s Law Center.

What defense attorneys do is create a narrative that only one type of person could experience sexual violence, and that there is only one type of response. They discount behaviors that are actually really typical in an effort to blame victims. This moment we are in is an opportunity to disrupt the story of a typical survivor, and to disrupt the story of a typical response.

When I think about the last two years, we’ve seen important examples of individual accountability. I have great hope that individuals in this case have a measure of justice around them. But the last two years have been bigger than one individual. They’ve been about systems changing, creating new norms and laws that will propel us further in the future. I’m hopeful about the future.

Chanel Miller wrote a memoir, “Know My Name,” about her experience as the victim in a high-profile sexual assault case.

Let it not be lost that every victim who walked through the courtroom doors has just added another layer to their trauma. Justice has come at the cost of their pain. May they unlearn any distorted ideas or character assaults that were fed to them during the trial. What happened was real. It was always wrong. I wish for their rest and well being.

Today we locked one man in one cell. We made progress because survivors keep speaking. Still, this was a case where many others looked away for decades. It was not just power that made him untouchable, people did. We cannot be afforded the neatness of closure. We should confront the question on our collective conscience: The next time you are aware of violence, will you be silent or speak?

Isabelle Kirshner is a former Manhattan prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer who has represented men accused of sexual assault.

This wasn’t “Believe all women,” and certainly not “Believe everything women are saying.”

Had they believed all women, and what all the women said, he would have been convicted on all charges. It looks like they were fairly careful on what they decided.

Debra Katz, a civil rights and employment lawyer, has represented several people who have spoken out about Mr. Weinstein.

There was a great deal of tension in the courtroom this morning, waiting for the jury. When we got to the first count of guilty, there was a feeling of extraordinary relief.

I felt some measure of justice had been done. He is now a convicted rapist. It was an extraordinary moment of social reckoning. It’s no longer OK to say that this was transactional, that these women knew exactly what they were getting. It’s no longer acceptable to blame women for the fact that they were targeted by a sexual predator. This was a true repudiation of the arguments that Donna Rotunno, his lawyer, made, that these women used Weinstein and that he was an unwitting victim.

When Rotunno exited the courthouse today, her response was extremely telling. She said Harvey Weinstein was completely shocked. For a man who has taken this kind of advantage and abused women for decades and taken this as his prerogative, I would say he is shocked.

Lucia Evans’s accusation of sexual assault against Mr. Weinstein was originally included, and then dropped, from the New York case.

I am so impressed by the women who participated in the criminal case up through the verdict. Witnessing firsthand many of the obstacles that stood in their way only deepens my appreciation of their courage. I truly wish I was given the opportunity to stand next to them, to see my case through to the end.

Hopefully this gives more women the strength to come forward.

It really took a village of women to do this.

Roger Canaff is a lawyer and former New York City sex crimes prosecutor.

It’s a tremendous victory for the Manhattan D.A.’s office — one of the most impressive and surprising convictions I’ve seen in 25 years of doing this work.

I think that more offices will be encouraged to bring more difficult cases because of this verdict.

I really do think this verdict is going to be looked at as a very important milestone in how powerful men are going to be held accountable.

I think this is indicative of a change in how we are going to view acceptable male behavior, how we may be able to hold offenders like Weinstein, powerful men, and powerful women, how we can hold those offenders accountable, not only in the court of public opinion, but courts of law as well.

Zelda Perkins is a former Miramax assistant who was the first woman to break a nondisclosure agreement with Mr. Weinstein.

Harvey going down for five years, 10 years, is not the end of this. This does not solve the problem. We can’t all just turn our eyes back to normal life and think everything is OK.

The fight absolutely doesn’t stop here. I think Harvey has become the ogre and the figurehead of this awful situation, but he is not the only one. And I think we have to remember that #MeToo was not about Harvey Weinstein. Tarana Burke did not start #MeToo because of Weinstein.

#MeToo has not been finished by him going to jail. And I hope this is the beginning of judges and juries understanding and taking the nuances of abuses of power more seriously.

Source link Nytimes.com

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