‘Beyond disappointed’ – Hollywood reacts to Weinstein verdict


Many Hollywood stars expressed their shock and outrage on Thursday after Harvey Weinstein, the former Hollywood film producer’s conviction for sex crimes was overturned in New York.

Rosanna Arquette, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino are among the celebrities who reacted sharply when Weinstein’s 2020 rape and sexual assault conviction was overturned by the city’s appeals court on Thursday.

Weinstein (72) will now get a new trial in New York for the case in which he was sentenced to 23 years for two sex crimes. He is also serving a separate 16-year rape sentence imposed against him in California.

However, the appeals court has now ruled that a critical error was committed by allowing prosecutors to present evidence from women who claim that Weinstein assaulted them, even if their allegations did not form part of the charges against him. The judges said this led to an unfair trial.

Weinstein’s legal team welcomed the finding as a major victory, but the legal representatives of victims of sexual violence see it as a huge setback.

The case and charges against Weinstein started the #MeToo movement in 2017. At the time, it put a renewed spotlight on sexual offenses in the film industry. More than 80 women eventually accused Weinstein of various acts of sexual assault and harassment.

Here are some celebrities’ reactions to the cancellation:

Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino

“Harvey was rightfully convicted. It is unfortunate that the court overturned his conviction. As a survivor I am very disappointed.” – Rosanna Arquette, actress and Weinstein accuser, to The Hollywood Reporter.

“It is unfair to survivors. We live in our truth. We know what happened.” – Ashley Judd, the first actress to come forward with allegations against Weinstein, via Instagram.

“Horrible! Since when do courts not allow evidence of pattern of previous offenses to be admitted? He is a habitual criminal who has raped/injured more than 200 women! I am filled with horror at the justice system that favors criminals more than victims.” – Mira Sorvino, Oscar-winning actress and Weinstein accuser, via social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

“Woke up to this news. It feels more important to me now than ever to continue to break the silence about sex hunters and to continue to support victims when they speak out.” – Katherine Kendall, actress and Weinstein accuser, via Instagram.

“It is a continuous failure of the legal system – and the courts – to take survivors seriously and to protect our interests. (Manhattan District Attorney Alvin) Bragg ran for office in 2021 because his predecessor failed so many of us. We expect him to denounce Weinstein now.” – Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, model and Weinstein accuser, via X (formerly Twitter).

“Let this be a reminder of how fraud is perpetrated in the American justice system against women and survivors of sexual violence, and what it takes to ‘prove’ your truth in this world.” – Amber Tamblyn, actress, via Instagram.

“They will never be able to reverse who we are. Blessings to all who gave their all #spirit #courage #unity.” – Rose McGowan, actress and Weinstein accuser, via Instagram.

“(It) is a stark reminder that the criminal justice system is not set up to serve real justice and that anyone who insists that ‘Me Too is over’ or ‘gone too far’ needs to look at the real state of the world.” – Sarah Ann Masse, actress and Weinstein accuser, via email.