Last Friday, disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was formally arrested in New York City on charges that he raped one woman and forced another to perform oral sex. He appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court for only 10 minutes. Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, paid his $1 million bail.
The charges against Weinstein include first-degree and third-degree rape, as well as first-degree criminal sex act. These charges stem from incidents with two separate women (one of whom is Lucia Evans, who first spoke out against Weinstein to The New Yorker) in 2004 and 2013. Beyond the counts in focus at Weinstein’s court appearance, the mogul has been accused by over 80 women of sexual harassment and assault.
Celebrities, including those affected by Weinstein’s abuse, took to social media to respond to his arrest. Rose McGowan, one of the first women who accused Weinstein of rape, tweeted, “We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you.” Asia Argento, who bravely spoke at Cannes alleging that Weinstein raped her at the festival in 1997, tweeted, “What took you so long Harvey?” along with a recording of news coverage of his arraignment.
#MeToo founder Tarana Burke released a statement to CNN responding to Weinstein’s arrest. “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,” she said. “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.”
Others took the opportunity to point out the lax treatment Weinstein has received in and out of court. Actress Annabella Sciorra, another of the numerous women who told The New Yorker that Weinstein assaulted her, tweeted, “I got no relief from seeing this monster walk into court, they 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. Sciorra then mentioned the case of Kalief Browder, a 16-year-old who was held on Rikers Island for four years after allegedly stealing a backpack.