Weinstein Accusers Hail His Surrender as Step Toward Justice

Actress Asia Argento said Harvey Weinstein's arrest was "his first step on his inevitable descent to hell"

As disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein surrendered to authorities and was arrested on rape and criminal sex act charges Friday morning, a drove of women hailed his arrest as a step toward justice and a symbol of hope for all abuse survivors.

The charges stem from encounters with two of the dozens of women — some famous, some not — who have accused Weinstein of sexual misdeeds. The rape charge involves a woman who has not come forward publicly. The criminal sex act charge stems from a 2004 encounter between Weinstein and Lucia Evans, a then-aspiring actress who told The New Yorker magazine he forced her to perform oral sex during a daytime meeting in his office.

"We are relieved and grateful that justice is coming, but we also mourn the cases where it didn't," her lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Some of Weinstein's most outspoken accusers, including actresses Rose McGowan and Asia Argento, took to social media as Weinstein made his way to a police precinct in lower Manhattan. In a powerful Instagram post, McGowan said she and other 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," she wrote. "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. I stand with my fellow survivors. May his arrest give hope to all victims and survivors everywhere that are telling their truths."

McGowan accused Weinstein of raping her in 1997 and has been disrupting what she described as the culture of complicity in Hollywood, saying many people knew of his behavior but did nothing. Through social media and her recent E! documentary "Citizen Rose," McGowan has told her story and offered support to other survivors.

McGowan later appeared on "Megyn Kelly Today" after Weinstein left the precinct in handcuffs and said she doesn't "ever want to see him again."

"I think the world could use that face being gone," she told Megyn Kelly. "Predators eat people. And he ate a lot of my life, and I want my life back."

McGowan admitted that while "his face is everywhere" since stories began circulating of the charges against Weinstein, "I haven't had a sigle nightmare for the first time."

When asked if she could ever forgive Weinstein, McGowan said, "I don't want to. ... It's a very complex issue. Maybe I'll get there someday. ... I can say this, the man who pinned me down had handcuffs on him today."

Argento tweeted when news broke of Weinstein's intent to surrender: "BOOM!"

She continued writing Friday morning as Weinstein walked out of his car and turned himself in, saying she was "glued to the screen" watching the "perp walk."

"Today Harvey Weinstein will take his first step on his inevitable descent to hell. We, the women, finally have real hope for justice," she tweeted.

Argento told The New Yorker in its October 2017 exposé on Weinstein that the producer raped her when she was 21 in 1997. She has since taken other powerful figures to task in helping to lead the #MeToo movement. On Saturday, Argento gave a searing speech at the Cannes Film Festival calling out Weinstein and others "who still have to be held accountable."

Harvey Weinstein’s ouster from the Weinstein Company in light of multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him is causing thousands of other women to speak up and speak out against powerful abusers in the workplace.

McGowan and Argento are just two of some 80 women who have publically accused Weinstein of assault or harassment. Weinstein has denied having engaged in nonconsensual sex, and his lawyer told reporters Friday that his client intends to plead not guilty.

"Mr. Weinstein did not invent the casting couch in Hollywood. … Bad behavior is not on trial in this case," attorney Benjamin Brafman said.

Actress Ashley Judd, who was one of the first women to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, said in a series of tweets that his arrest is "resoundingly significant."

Actress Natassia Malthe, who said Weinstein masturbated and then forced himself on her in a hotel in 2010, said she wondered "why it was taking so long" for Weinstein to face justice.

"I'm happy that he’s finally being held accountable," she said Friday on MSNBC. "I was afraid this day would never happen."

Malthe's attorney, Gloria Allred, who also represented women in the case that found Bill Cosby guilty on sexual assault charges, said, "This is only the first day."

"There is a process, he will get a fair trial," Allred said on MSNBC. "Will the victims also get a fair trial?"

Dominique Huett, an actress and model who said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in a hotel in 2010, said Weinstein's arrest "feels as if justice has begun to be served."

"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," Huett said in a statement to NBC News. "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 standard as an illegal criminal act 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.

Huett added that she feels for Weinstein's family and children that they are "having to face these consequences at last for his behavior, criminally."

Actress Mira Sorvino offered one simple word on Twitter: "#Justice."

Sorvino claimed that Weinstein harassed her and tried to pressure her into a physical relationship. She and other women say the producer subsequently blacklisted them in the film industry and hurt their careers.

After Weinstein was arraigned, Sorvino sent her "love" to "all my sisters today who stood up against a monster... so many emotions... I am proud of and grateful to you all."

"So much love right back at you sister!" Argento tweeted back.

Annabella Sciorra was a rising actress in the 1990s when, she said, Weinstein raped her and sexually harassed her before "destroying" her career.

As news spread that Weinstein would turn himself in, she tweeted, "Anyone know where I can get front row seats?!"

See how others reacted to Weinstein's arrest:

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