The disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein went on a borderline bizarre rant before he was sentenced to 23 years in prison after being convicted of rape and sexual assault. Weinstein compared himself and other men accused in the #MeToo movement to the victims of McCarthyism, the communist-era blacklisting hysteria.
The 67-year-old former film producer, who chose not to testify during the trial, decided to speak before the sentencing was pronounced. He claimed that thousands of men and women are losing the “due process” and said that he is worried about the country.
“Everybody is on some kind of blacklist. I think possibly men like myself, like Dalton Trumbo - they said they were Communists, and now there's a scare, just like that now,” said Weinstein comparing himself to the former award-winning author and screenwriter who had refused to testify before Congress regarding his communist ties. Trumbo along with nine other colleagues, the so-called “Hollywood Ten”, was blacklisted by the heads of major studios in the post-war hysteria of “threat of communism”.
Weinstein, in his 10-minute monologue, said that other people cared more about their children, families, and friends than movies while he just wanted to make great movies. Speaking about the two accusers, former actress Jessica Mann and former production assistant Miriam Haley, the rape convict said that he still felt affection for them.
Weinstein was accused of raping Mann in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on Haley in 2006, but the movie mogul had denied all allegations and had pleaded not guilty. However, the court found him guilty on two counts of rape and sexual assault while acquitted on three other counts, including predatory sexual assault.
The verdict was hailed as a seminal moment in the #MeToo movement by the accusers and activists. After the verdict, actress Ellen Barkin named the women who came forward to ensure justice. “Right now Harvey Weinstein is on his way to prison. These are the women who put him away...Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Lauren Young, Tarale Wulff," she tweeted.
(With inputs from agencies)
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