New York: Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault, and the women who accused the disgraced Hollywood mogul welcomed the verdict, terming it as the victory of the justice system and the "power of people who speak up".
Weinstein, who has been accused of violating scores of women, was convicted last month of raping a once-aspiring actress in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on former TV and film production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006.
The report sparked off the #MeToo movement, which empowered survivors of sexual assault, abuse and rape to raise their voice and hold the perpetrators responsible.
Actor Mira Sorvino, who was one of the first to go on record to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment, said she cried "tears of amazement and gratitude" after the sentence was pronounced.
23 years. Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for his crimes of rape and sexual assault. I literally cried tears of amazement, gratitude that the justice system has worked on behalf of all of his victims today.— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) March 11, 2020
The Silence Breakers group, which has spoken out against sexual harassment and assault and includes several Weinstein accusers like actors Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, released a statement after his sentencing.
"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."
The Silence Breaker community was founded on solidarity, support and compassion. The New York trial has ended, but the Silence Breakers will persist in our crusade for cultural change, justice and to have our voices heard," the statement read.
Farrow tweeted about the power of those who speak up.
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.— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) March 11, 2020
More than 90 women, including Hollywood A-listers Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Lupita Nyong'o, Lea Seydoux and Uma Thurman, eventually came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault and sexual harassment after the news expose.
Actor Olivia Munn, who was one of six women who came forward with sexual harassment and assault accusations against filmmaker Brett Ratner in the wake of #MeToo, hailed the Weinstein accusers for creating a "huge shift" in the world.
To the women who bravely testified against Weinstein + the Silence Breakers who courageously told their stories unsure of what repercussions might unfold: Your strength & resilience created a huge shift in the world and empowered millions of people. Myself included. Thank You💛💛— Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) March 12, 2020
Weinstein was acquitted of the more serious charges against him of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault....