Rose McGowan, Asia Argento and More Accusers React to Harvey Weinstein's Arrest
Argento and McGowan were the first of many actresses to share their thoughts about the disgraced film producer's arrest in New York on Friday morning.
Rose McGowan made three televised appearances on Friday in reaction to the news that Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood mogul that she and more than 80 other women have accused of sexual misconduct, had surrendered himself to authorities. More than seven months after the allegations first broke in late 2017, Weinstein was charged with first- and third-degree rape and a criminal sex act in the first degree for forcible sexual acts against two women in 2013 and 2004, respectively.
The night before on Thursday evening, Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of rape and is as an activist in the #MeToo era, posted about his arrest on Instagram. "I, and so many of Harvey Weinstein’s survivors, had given up hope that our rapist would be held accountable by law. Twenty years ago, I swore that I would right this wrong. Today we are one step closer to justice. We were young women who were assaulted by Weinstein and later terrorized by his vast network of complicity," she wrote. "I stand with my fellow survivors. May his arrest give hope to all victims and survivors everywhere that are telling their truths."
In a video interview with the Associated Press posted early Friday morning, McGowan revealed that she is looking forward to attending any of Weinstein's upcoming trials. "If I'm allowed to, I will attend," she said. "And hopefully that will actually heal a lot of the kind of trauma I get whenever I see his face or whenever I hear his name or whenever I have to read or hear that he says it was consensual."
McGowan continued: "And I'll get to sit there and I'll get to look at him. And I'll get to be an eye and so many other victims will get to look him square in the eye and just by being there, represent the fact that we did not want this. We did not ask for this. We were just people."
McGowan then made a Friday morning appearance on Good Morning America, where she spoke about her "visceral need" to see Weinstein in handcuffs. "I feel shocked. I would say it's just so big," she said. "I have to admit I didn't think I would see the day that he would have handcuffs on him. I have a visceral need for him to have handcuffs on."
She remarked on Weinstein turning himself in on a "slow media" holiday weekend Friday: "They did something nice for him, that means he has friends in high places still."
Later in the morning, McGowan tweeted, "We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you."
She also appeared on Megyn Kelly Today for a lengthy segment, where she revisited the most shocking discoveries about Weinstein's alleged reach in her own life, including her book agent working with Weinstein unbeknowst to her, and the length of time it took for the charges against Weinstein to materialize.
"It’s tragic that it takes over 100 women and that probably means 1,000, let’s be real," said McGowan. "I mean, this man had hunting grounds all over the world. He had accomplices and a complicity machine. He was the cult leader of Hollywood, their king. He tied with God for thanks at the Oscars. And to see that constantly, and to live in that town — and to see people lay wreaths at his feet even though they knew, today is a good day." She later added: "The man who pinned me down had handcuffs on him today."
She spoke about Weinstein's wife Georgina Chapman, saying she was "purposefully" sat between the pair at a past Cannes Film Festival and that Chapman "would not look" at her face. McGowan and Kelly also discussed proportionality in the #MeToo movement and, as an example, McGowan said Ben Affleck, whom she has previously called out, is an example of someone who "might just be a shmuck" but who she does not believe is a predator. McGowan told Kelly she has no future in Hollywood, something she opened up about in a recent cover story with The Hollywood Reporter.
Early Friday morning, Asia Argento — the Italian actress who accused Weinstein of rape and spoke out against him in a searing speech at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival — took to Twitter to comment. "Today Harvey Weinstein will take his first step on his inevitable descent to hell," she wrote. "We, the women, finally have real hope for justice."
Argento and McGowan are two of the more than 80 women who came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein. Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow are also among the high-profile actresses who have come forward with stories about Weinstein's pattern of alleged abuse. Mira Sorvino shared her thoughts on Weinstein's arrest, tweeting: "Sending love to all my sisters today who stood up against a monster... so many emotions... I am proud of and grateful to you all." Actress and Weinstein accuser Daryl Hannah tweeted: "Without justice courage is weak.... may justice prevail."
Sean Young, who had claimed Weinstein exposed himself to her, said she knows of other men in Hollywood, but declined to name them. In a statement to THR, the Blade Runner star said: "That's one down and three to go. I know of at least three abusive men out in Hollywood who are still out there living there successful lives who I wouldn't dream of outing for fear of losing my life. If the entertainment business wants to clean up it's act, it will take an act of God."
Actress Dominique Huett, who had accused Weinstein of forcibly performing oral sex on her, said in a statement to THR: “Upon the charges brought to the arrest of Harvey Weinstein, I feel for his family and children having to face these consequences at last for his behavior, criminally. However, this was a very systematic pattern of abuse which was rarely considered a crime by a culture in the entertainment business that continually perpetuated it."
She continued, "I am sadly reminded of all of the women’s lives he destroyed and careers that were hindered from this abuse. I know a lot of women feel vindicated in regard to this arrest being held to a new standard as illegal criminal acts and the court process should reveal the verdict for the crimes of which he is accused in a court of law. This is a step in the right direction for abuse to be taken seriously and progress be made to abolish abuses of power. It feels as if justice has begun to be served and time will tell if the system will uphold the truth for the allegations in which he is charged.”
A statement from Natassia Malthe, who claimed Weinstein sexually forced himself on her, reads: "I hope that he is made accountable in a criminal case and that one day he will truly understand what the impact of his behavior has had on women, that has caused so many women unnecessary pain."
Lysette Anthony and Rosanna Arquette tweeted subtle responses to Weinstein's arrest, with Anthony writing, "And so it begins" and Arquette tweeting, "Tick tock." Lauren Sivan also shared her thoughts, tweeting: "It's been a long time coming and today my fellow victims and I rejoice and pray no one ever underestimates the power of women when we stand together + scream the truth."
Rather than praising the arrest, actress Heather Graham shared that she would be celebrating "powerful women" instead. "It’s about time: Harvey Weinstein turned himself in this morning and is in police custody. Today, instead of focusing on him, I will be celebrating all of the powerful women out there. This is just the beginning #TheFutureIsFemale," she wrote.
In a statement to THR, Liza Campbell expressed how "pleased" she was to witness Weinstein's arrest.
"I am very pleased to see that Harvey Weinstein has finally been arraigned. As a Brit, I am puzzled why the police did not arrest him months ago, but waited until he finally turned himself in. Over here, we are all equal under the law; but your rules seem to be a bit different," Campbell said. "It is also shocking to someone in England where there is no statute of limitations for any serious crimes, that Weinstein will only answer to a tiny fraction of the assaults of which he stands accused. As a woman, I worry that his legal team will do everything to destroy his accuser’s characters as their main defence, a misogynist approach that will only compound damage already done. I would of course be a witness, if I was called, because that is my duty as a citizen. In the same vein, it is my hope he will get a fair trial and justice will be served."
Sarah Ann Masse told THR: "Harvey Weinstein’s arrest is an important step on the path to justice for myself and all of his victims. But it is not where this ends. This is a systemic issue, and this is one step in the right direction in a series to move us forward. Harvey must be sentenced and pay for his heinous crimes. Those who surrounded him, supported him, were complicit in and facilitated his crimes must also be brought to justice. This movement is changing the discourse of abuse and assault so that survivors are heard and believed, through breaking the silence, through class actions against predators like Harvey and his ring of conspirators, through cooperating with criminal cases, and through being a part of creating the art, industry, and society that no longer stands for this type of behavior. Today we can both appreciate what we have done and appreciate what we have yet to do."
Accuser and producer Paula Williams gave THR her thoughts as well: "When I first heard of Harvey’s arrest it didn’t really surprise me, as it seemed apropos. It is a small step towards changing an unacceptable corporate culture that has allowed many to misuse their power and inflict fear so pervasive that it silenced the witness and coerced others into complicity. I now feel the gravity amongst his victims and women in general who have similar Harvey situations. There is a sense of freedom of not having to keep quiet, pretending this is okay. It is not okay. I hope we continue to speak our truths and know that we as a society will no longer tolerate this behavior."
On Friday night, accuser Judd tweeted a two-part response to Weinstein's arraignment, saying, "That Harvey Weinstein, a powerful man who thrived and flourished as he shattered and abused women in a culture of impunity was arrested and charged is resoundingly significant. It is a watershed event, an irreversible pivot away from tacit and explicit license to exploit to clarity about unacceptable behavior no longer being tolerated."
She added, "Today, these images of Harvey in handcuffs are possible because of the voices, backbone, & determination, in spite of the unknown & retaliation, demonstrated by survivors & the journalists who reported our stories."
In her statement to THR, accuser Zoe Brock explained that she doesn't feel "any kind of catharsis yet" nor a "cause for celebration" following Weinstein's arrest.
Brock told THR: "Historically we have all seen what happens when a powerful man, or any man, defends himself in court on sexual violence allegations - they drag their victims through the mud and do everything in their power to discredit them and ruin their reputations. It's one of the reasons so many of Harvey's victims remain quiet and still refuse to come forward. This arrest is just another step in a horrible journey. It would be naive of me to want to celebrate when there is a daunting and painful road ahead for the women brave enough to come forward and make this possible. Instead of feeling happy I feel somber, focused, aware, suspicious and really tired. I'm hoping this arrest silences some of the upsetting complaints for comebacks that some of these men keep pushing for. There is nothing more triggering to victims of sexual assault than to see their assailants acting as if they are being victimized. It's a sign of pure narcissism and lack of any accountability, compassion or self-awareness. You do the crime, you pay the time. You want to rape and assault women? Then you don't deserve to have a career or powerful friends anymore. It's that simple."
After tweeting that she couldn't wait for Weinstein to turn himself in the night before his surrender and that she wanted "front row seats," Sciorra said in a series of tweets on Sunday that the way the disgraced mogul was charged and released was disappointing.
"The law finally caught up with Harvey Weinstein on Friday and charged him with multiple counts of rape and sexual assault. But nothing about that felt celebratory to me," she wrote. "The smirk on his face as he was led out of the police station in cuffs made me physically sick. The public statement from his lawyer was intended only to denigrate all the brave women who came forward and spoke out against him. And I got no relief from seeing this monster walk into court, then sneak out the back door after posting a million dollar bond. All that says is, money buys VIP treatment in the justice system no matter how serious or violent the crimes. Compare that to the case of Kalief Browder, who was denied bail after being accused of a misdemeanor, then spent four years in Rikers, over half of it in solitary confinement, awaiting a trial that never occurred. 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."
The official twitter account for Time's Up, the organization founded by Hollywood stars aimed to fight against sexual harassment, addressed Weinstein's arrest by expressing hope that "justice will prevail."
"Today a man whose actions were so egregious that they spawned a global reckoning has been taken into custody," the organization wrote. "Harvey Weinstein shattered the lives of an untold number of women. We stand with them, and remain in solidarity with women everywhere who have faced unsafe and abusive workplaces. We look forward to seeing justice prevail."
Activist and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke said in a statment to CNN: "This is not a moment to revel in how the mighty have fallen but instead in how the silenced have spoken up, stood together and survived. Weinstein's arrest, for the women who have accused him and others like them around the world, I'm sure feels like a moment of catharsis and it should serve as a cautionary tale for others like (Morgan) Freeman and every day people who toe the line between unacceptable and criminal behavior."
Trauma expert Louise Godbold was motivated to share additional details about her alleged encounter with Weinstein after the arrest, saying that after he "put my hand on his crotch," he allegedly chased her to the elevator and kissed her in front of his staff. He had also "asked me for a massage and presented himself naked and then tried to massage me," she told the AP. "Just the idea of him getting out of a police car with handcuffs is very satisfying because it makes it concrete," she said. "We're all elated." She called Friday a "turning point": "It has given ... any victim the power to stand up and say 'No. We can't go back."
At around 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday, Weinstein turned himself into the New York Police Department at the first precinct in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood, just blocks away from the office of his longtime Weinstein Co. offices. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance filed felony sex crimes charges against Weinstein; he was arrested by the New York City police department shortly thereafter and taken to court.
In court, when he was arraigned, bond was set at $10 million or $1 million cash; he delivered on the latter. Weinstein relinquished his passport and agreed to wear a monitoring device that allows him to be tracked 24/7. He can only travel between New York and Connecticut unless he receives approval from the D.A.'s office and court to travel elsewhere.
The woman Weinstein allegedly assaulted in 2004 is reportedly former aspiring actress Lucia Evans. Evans previously told investigators that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. The alleged incident took place at the former Miramax offices in Tribeca. In a New Yorker report with Ronan Farrow on Friday, Evans confirmed she was pressing charges against the disgraced mogul.
Not long after his surrender, Argento tweeted a video of Weinstein's perp walk and asked, "What took you so long Harvey?"
Hours later, TV chef Anthony Bourdain tweeted his support for girlfriend Argento, writing, "When you went on record, @AsiaArgento you were sure this day would never come, that you would be crushed, that you were alone. And yet you did it anyway. #perpwalk"
Kathy Griffin, a vocal supporter of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements — both inspired by the myriad allegations made against Weinstein, which first made headlines last October in twin exposés published by The New York Times and The New Yorker — tweeted her support for several Weinstein victims and applauded them for their bravery.
"Tonight, on the eve of the monster turning himself in, I just want to say that I love @RoArquette @AnnabellSciorra @AsiaArgento @rosemcgowan and all of the women who bravely shared their stories," she wrote. "They had no safety net..but they spoke out any way. Heroes and Revolutionaries."
Women's rights attorney Gloria Allred, who has represented a number of Weinstein's accusers, reacted to his arrest in a statement to THR on Friday morning.
"I represent many accusers of Harvey Weinstein, both in lawsuits and in claims in bankruptcy court. It is long overdue for him to be required to face the bar of justice, but that day has finally come," said Allred. "I commend the courage of all those who have come forward and who have had the courage to speak their truth to a rich, powerful famous man. We look forward to a just result."
Weinstein, who has denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex, has been facing multiple criminal charges in New York, Los Angeles and London. Earlier this week, federal prosecutors in Manhattan launched a criminal probe into sex-abuse allegations against Weinstein, focusing on whether he lured women to cross state lines under false pretenses for the purpose of committing sex crimes.
Weinstein also faces numerous civil suits filed by women claiming abuse and harassment.
Weinstein previously evaded arrest in 2015. Last fall, the NYPD faced backlash after it was revealed they failed to prosecute Weinstein after Italian model Ambra Battilana accused him of groping her during a business meeting in 2015. Even though the police worked with Battilana to get Weinstein to acknowledge the incident in a recording, Vance declined to press charges.
This is an updating story.
Jackie Strause and Lexy Perez contributed to this story.