Now that Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial is underway, Rose McGowan says it's giving "dark hope" to survivors. McGowan, one of the most prominent faces of the #MeToo movement and one of the first women to accuse the Oscar-winning producer of rape, wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter about what it's like to see "the monster" face the justice system.
"I've been asked to articulate what it's like to at last see Harvey Weinstein — a man who stole so much of my life — be tried by a jury," she begins. "The answer: I hold a Grand Canyon of pain so deep that I have what feels like tundra frozen over me. I have lost any ability to trust, to let down my guard or to exist as a free woman. I am tethered to the monster and his accomplices."
The Scream star continues, "Now that the monster is having his day in court, I think the most important thing that should be brought to the public's attention is this: Everyone deserves a fair trial, even Weinstein, but it will come at great cost to the women bravely testifying against him. The impending feeling of this trial is one of dark hope. Dark because we survivors are used to being abandoned by justice, and hope because we are human."
McGowan shares it "recently occurred" to her that she and "so many others, are survivors of Hollywood human trafficking by the former de facto head of Hollywood." The actress then referenced the 1997 Sundance Film Festival where she claims Weinstein raped her.
"I had a 10 a.m. meeting with my powerful boss. I was a weak young woman, at least in his estimation," she writes. "Make no mistake, this is about the wealthy and powerful eating the poor and weak."
She continues, "I must admit, it does give me a bit of a thrill to know he's scared — as scared as I once was. The law is big and powerful when it comes for you. If he's found guilty, a miracle will have happened and faith will be restored to many. If he's found innocent, and it hurts to write that, he'll no doubt aim for a comeback."
McGowan notes, "Weinstein's empire of human trafficking did not exist on its own." She calls out his "many accomplices" and wonders what they would do in today’s world.
"Would they now at least attempt to stop someone from abusing others with their power? There will still be those who will help him for sick reasons known to only them, but they will know no peace," she continues. "The world has changed. The people who don't change with it will be shocked at the fury that will come their way."
"Even a day in court is a huge achievement in this bent legal system. No matter what the outcome, we will no longer be silent," she concludes. "This trial gives hope to so many survivors. I am proud of what has been accomplished so far. Someday we will live our lives as free women, and I can't wait."
Tuesday marked the second day of Weinstein's rape trial in New York City. On Monday, it was announced new rape and assault charges were filed in Los Angeles. Judge James M. Burke denied a request from Weinstein's defense team to delay his criminal trial in Manhattan over press coverage of the new case. Attorney Arthur Aidala argued it would be hard to select a "fair and impartial" panel of jurors given the new indictment, according to THR.
"It is the talk of the town, at this very moment," Aidala said, holding up copies of national newspapers with front-page coverage of the charges in L.A. "Don’t we need a cooling-off period? Don’t we at least need a period of time so there are other things in the news?"
Judge Burke denied the motion to adjourn, saying the new charges are "next to meaningless" as far as Weinstein's criminal case in New York is concerned.
"The jury knows and will be instructed that being arrested or charged or indicted for a felony is in and of itself meaningless," he said. "If you want to explore the L.A. charges on your voir dire, you may of course do so."
The judge also denied the prosecution's request to revoke Weinstein's bail agreement and have him remanded in light of the new case. However, he threatened to throw the disgraced producer in jail after Weinstein was caught using a cell phone.
"Mr. Weinstein, I cannot implore you more to not answer the following question — that means don’t say anything," the judge said, according to Page Six. "Is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life by texting and violating a court order?"
According to Page Six, Weinstein "simply bowed his head and did not answer as his attorneys desperately pleaded with the judge." He has been reprimanded before by Judge Burke for taking out his phone in court.
Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex.
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