Mariska Hargitay Slams Harvey Weinstein Defense Team's 'Victim-Blaming Tactics'
"The Weinstein case represented some of the ugliest behavior I have seen in the criminal justice system," the actress said
After the disgraced movie mogul was found guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree on Monday, Hargitay, 56, tweeted that she had “mixed emotions” about the result.
“I join the survivor advocacy in having mixed emotions today,” wrote the actress, who created the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 to support sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse survivors. “The Weinstein case represented some of the ugliest behavior I have seen in the criminal justice system. In fact, I am still reeling after some of the victim-blaming tactics used by the defense.”
“But it also represented some of the very best within our society,” Hargitay noted. “Together with the many survivors who traveled to support them, #silencebreakers channeled the strength to arrive at the courtroom day after day.”
The Law and Order: SVU actress added that the #silencebreakers, “did this knowing that there were people — millions of people like you and me — standing behind them.”
“Join me in committing to making sure that survivors know that they are not alone,” she said. “That we stand with them, today and every day.”
- People’s new special edition celebrating Law & Order: SVU’s record-breaking 21st season is available now wherever magazines are sold.
A New York City jury of five women and seven men found Weinstein guilty of rape and sexual assault charges. He was found not guilty on three other charges, including predatory sexual assault.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Weinstein’s lawyers, Donna Rotunno and Damon Cheronis, said, “While he was not convicted on the most serious charges, we are disappointed in the verdict and will be filing an appeal. There are issues in this trial that were extremely troubling, and they prejudiced Mr. Weinstein’s ability to have his case fairly judged.”
Weinstein, a producer behind 20 best-picture Oscar nominees, has fiercely denied the allegations, countering that his sexual encounters with the two accusers in the New York case were consensual.
Just hours after the verdict, Weinstein was on his way to the infirmary at Rikers Island but was rerouted and taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan after complaining about chest pains.
Rotunno told USA Today that Weinstein was suffering from high blood pressure.
Weinstein’s prosecution followed two investigations published separately in October 2017 by the Times and The New Yorker magazine that propelled the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements against sexual assault in the entertainment industry and other workplaces.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.