“Harvey will be held accountable,” Rose McGowan and other Harvey Weinstein accusers speak ahead of trial

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | Silence Breakers including actresses Rose McGowan and Rosanna Arquette spoke at Foley Square early Monday morning shortly before the beginning of Harvey Weinstein’s rape and sexual assault trial.

“We aren’t going anywhere,” said Arquette to crowd of journalists swarmed around a clear plastic podium. “As we stand here at the beginning of a new year, of a new decade, time’s up.”

The long-awaited trial comes two years after The New York Times and The New Yorker broke investigative stories on multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the film producer. The published investigations ignited the #MeToo movement as more high profile women began to publicly share their experiences with sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood and beyond. Tarana Burke, a civil rights activist from the Bronx, began encouraging women to use the phrase “me too” in 2006. Her point, was  to raise awareness to the pervasiveness of sexual assault and harassment.

The Silence Breakers refers to the women that came forward to share their stories during the #MeToo movement. But at Foley Square, those “silence breakers” were specifically seven women who have said they were victimized by the Hollywood mogul.

“We are here to ensure that the focus of this criminal case is on the perpetrator,” said Arquette, who accused Weinstein of ruining her career after rejecting his advances.  “And whether its this trial or in the future, Harvey will be held accountable.”

More than 80 women have alleged that Weinstein has attacked or harassed them. But Weinstein has denied all of the accusations of non-consensual sex. Weinstein’s New York trial will focus on multiple charges of sexual assualt and rape placed against him by two women. One that said he forcibly performed a sex act on her in 2006 and another who said Weinstein raped her in 2013.

Weinstein, 67,  hobbled into a Manhattan courthouse using a walker this morning. His defense team is expected to start selecting jury members on Tuesday.

“They have an asterix next to their name for all time for what they have done,” said McGowan about those that either actively helped Weinstein perpetrate his sexually deviant acts or turned a blind eye. ” Many of us know who they are … and we will out them if we have to.”

The New York Times reported this afternoon that Los Angeles prosecutors charged Weinstein with raping a woman and sexually assaulting a second woman over a two day period in 2013.


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