Disgraced Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, found guilty on raping and sexual abusing women, was handed over 23 years in prison by the Manhattan Court. Weinstein will undergo 20 years sentence for a first-degree criminal sexual act which included forced oral sex on Miriam Haley, his production assistant, in 2006. The three-year sentence is given for the third-degree rape of former aspiring actor Jessica Mann in 2013.
According to Deadline, prior to passing the sentence, Judge James Burke said: "There is evidence before of other incidents of sexual assaults involving a number of women that is of legitimate consideration for this sentence."
Around 80 women including Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek had levelled charges of sexual misconduct against Weinstein. He was sent to prison on Riker's Island after he was found guilty of the criminal sexual act and third-degree rape.
Weinstein says he is worried for the country
Weinstein who was found snoring during the trial, spoke at the sentencing, for the first time ever since the trial began. Comparing himself to Dalton Trumbo, an American screenwriter who was banned for being a member of the Communist Party, said that he was worried about this country.
According to CBS News, Weinstein started his speech saying, "I have remorse for all of you," while referring to the six women who testified against him in the court during the trial. Elaborating upon his various charitable contributions made during his career apart from training prominent Hollywood figures to help them achieve success, Weinstein boasted: "The [#MeToo] movement started basically because of me. I was the first example and now there are thousands of men who are being accused."
"I'm worried about this country. There are thousands of men and women who are losing due process. I'm totally confused. I think men are confused about these issues," he said in his speech.
Hollywood celebrates Weinstein's sentencing
Soon after the sentence was passed against Weinstein, Hollywood came out celebrating the disgraced Hollywood mogul's imprisonment.
Calling Weinstein a convicted rapist, Silence Breakers, a group of women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment, said in a statement: "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." McGowan, one of the first woman to have gone on record to accuse Weinstein, tweeted: "Let us be free."
In a statement released soon after, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said: "We thank the survivors for their remarkable statements today and indescribable courage over the last two years. Harvey Weinstein deployed nothing less than an army of spies to keep them silent. But they refused to be silent, and they were heard. Their words took down a predator and put him behind bars and gave hope to survivors of sexual violence all across the world."
Here are the reactions from Hollywood after Weinstein's sentencing: