Harvey Weinstein victim says grant of appeal is ‘appalling’

Entertainment

(NewsNation) — A New York judge on Wednesday granted Harvey Weinstein an appeal just two years after he was convicted of sex crimes, including rape and sexual battery by restraint charges.

However, while the decision grants him a chance to voice his appeal, it doesn’t guarantee a new trial for Weinstein and has nothing to do with an ongoing rape case against him in California.

“I am innocent of these charges, and I am so grateful to my attorneys for working hard and smart work on this. Their hard efforts will help me prove my innocence in the end. I look forward to this opportunity to be heard by the New York Court of Appeals,” Weinstein said in a statement provided to NewsNation by his legal team.

Jessica Mann was 25 years old when she met Weinstein with hopes that the powerhouse movie producer would launch her acting career.

In a statement to NewsNation’s Rich McHugh on Thursday, Mann called Weinstein a “classic narcissist” who has taken “zero” accountability and a “monster” that society is “safer without.”

“His guilt has been proven multiple times, and will continue to be proven in the coming trials,” Mann said in her statement. “In the climate of Epstein and Cosby, it’s appalling, but not surprising that yet another wealthy sexual predator has gained access to an appeal.”

A court spokesperson said arguments will likely begin sometime in late 2023. Following the arguments, the court could decide to uphold Weinstein’s conviction or order a new trial.

The 70-year-old is currently serving 23 years in prison for two sexual assaults: one from 2006 and the other from 2013.

But a key player in the case against Weinstein, Mann, has spoken up.

Her testimony against Weinstein sealed the jury’s decision to convict the former producer.

In a sit-down interview with Mann last year, NewsNation’s Rich McHugh learned of Weinstein’s efforts to appeal his verdict.

McHugh followed up with Mann, asking her thoughts on it.

“I almost find the situation laughable. It’s just so typical he’s looking for the loopholes — anything he can find — and at this point, it’s not a surprise. It’s 100 + voices of women who never knew each other, who never spoke, who lived in the dark and hid the shame and dealt with this trauma attest to the fact this man is not innocent. So he’s delusional,” Mann said.

Now, Mann said she is not surprised by the decision to grant him an appeal.

“Harvey Weinstein is a classic narcissist who continues to take zero accountability. His guilt has been proven multiple times and will continue to be proven in the coming trials,” Mann told NewsNation in an interview. “Regardless of the appeal, the world and his family alike have disowned him. We all know what a monster he is. Our society is safer without him.”

Another woman who testified against Weinstein, Miriam Haley, has also spoken up: “He’s guilty and I believe he had a fair trial.”

Weinstein’s prison sentence and rape conviction was previously upheld by a New York appeals court in June.

Weinstein was convicted in February 2020 of forcibly performing oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006 and raping an aspiring actress in 2013. He was acquitted of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

It served as one of the highest profile verdicts in America’s reckoning with sexual misconduct by powerful figures – an era that started with allegations against Weinstein.

WPIX and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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