Weinstein Accusers Respond to Hospitalization: "He's a Very Good Actor"

Harvey Weinstein enters New York City Criminal Court on February 24, 2020 - Getty-H 2020
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Rosanna Arquette, Lauren Sivan and more of the women who have spoken out against the former movie mogul, convicted of rape in New York on Monday, spoke Tuesday morning at Los Angeles City Hall.

On Tuesday morning, following the landmark guilty verdict against Harvey Weinstein in his New York City rape trial, 11 of his accusers gathered at Los Angeles City Hall to speak about that case and set up the upcoming effort to hold Weinstein accountable in court in L.A

Speaking at a press conference, the women — Rosanna Arquette, Lauren Sivan, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller Nesic, Louisette Geiss, Louise Godbold, Lauren O'Connor, Larissa Gomes, Katherine Kendall, Jessica Barth and Caitlin Dulany — reflected on their feelings upon hearing the ruling, with many recounting how they sat beside their husbands and cried while watching Monday's news. Others showed disappointment at the court finding Weinstein guilty on only two of the five charges and hoped for further action against him in the L.A. case: "There are new women and new witnesses," Arquette said. 

The group, known collectively as the Silence Breakers, a term coined by Time's Up, also commented on Weinstein's hospitalization for chest pains following the verdict.

"I personally felt like he's a very good actor," Geiss said during a Q&A. "This is a man who knows how to manipulate the press and clearly he's done so with his iconic walker; let's just say I know women who are literally dying who are also victims and I say let's give them the help. If he's got to go to the hospital it should be in jail, that kind of hospital, not one where he has his own suite."

Added Masse, "I thought maybe he's experiencing panic attacks, something all of us have experienced for decades after his abuse," while Sivan noted how because of his health problems, Weinstein will likely be out of jail while his lawyers appeal the case. "I think we should all take a moment to realize that if that this wasn't Harvey Weinstein and was just anyone that didn't have money and power and couldn't afford world's best attorneys, they would be in jail, they wouldn't get to go to the hospital," she said. "If you're convicted of two felonies in New York, you're taken to jail, that's typically what happens, and if you're not, then you're getting special treatment."

Reporters also asked the Silence Breakers what they thought about public accusations that Meryl Streep knew about Weinstein's behavior, supported by street art that has popped up throughout Los Angeles with Streep's face and the words, "She knew."

"I've seen the art and it angers me that the target would be a woman — it's just taking it right off of Harvey again and the men that were complicit," Kendall said. "To think that because she did a movie with him she knew all of his gossip is preposterous, he was probably busy doing her work and people can have things hidden from them; I'm not sure what street artist did that, but I don't think it was Banksy."

Masse elaborated: "Just because a man abuses hundreds of women doesn't mean that he abuses every woman that he's ever worked with, so it is possible for a woman to have worked with him and be treated with respect by him. I'm sure Meryl Streep didn't know. She's been very supportive and when he tried to use her in the press against us, she came out and repudiated it, so let's not make this about the women."

As the survivors thanked the women who testified during the New York trial, Dulany reflected on Monday's significance: "The best part of my day was going to the grocery store and seeing a little girl running around and I said, 'The world has changed, you will have a different world because of what happened today. It is not the same and will never be the same for survivors everywhere.'"