In the initial hours following Harvey Weinstein’s NYPD arrest, several of his accusers (including Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, and Lauren Sivan) openly celebrated what looked like the road to justice. Yet although Weinstein was slapped with several felony sexual assault charges (including rape), he still emerged while smiling in handcuffs on the way to court — where he was able to post $1 million (of his $10 million bond) and walk free, at least temporarily. This display has led some of his other accusers (Annabella Sciorra and Ashley Judd) to express disappointment over how Weinstein’s case is being handled.
On Sunday, Sciorra explained in a series of tweets how she felt “no relief” at watching Weinstein leave court on bail. She also stated, “If there was truly ’equal justice under the law’, Harvey Weinstein would be behind bars in Rikers today, waiting for his own day in court, not free to roam New York, his other hunting ground, wearing an ankle bracelet.”
When the news broke that Harvey Weinstein would be surrendering himself on rape and sexual assault charges, I didn’t have a reaction. As I spoke with others for whom the ground was shaking I realized my feeling was that a sexual predator being legally accountable for criminal behavior is and should be normal, routine and not particularly newsworthy. And I also understood why it is thunderous news.
Judd continued to explain how she hoped that Weinstein would plead guilty and move towards accountability and humility, which obviously did not happen. In fact, his lawyer (Benjamin Brafman) told the court that Weinstein “did not invent the casting couch in Hollywood.” Brafman continued to preview what will likely be Weinstein’s defense in the case, which is that Weinstein is only guilty of “bad behavior,” and that the use of a “casting couch” is a “choice,” not a crime.
Indeed, when Weinstein’s trial begins (and no date has yet to be announced), it’s likely that there shall be verbal gymnastics aplenty, all an effort for the disgraced mogul to avoid conviction.