By Abb Jones
The Reelness

A New York judge has sentenced disgraced former Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to 23 years in prison for sexually assaulting two women – in effect, a life sentence for Weinstein, who turns 68 next week.

Jessica Mann

A jury convicted Weinstein on February 24 of forcing oral sex on former production assistant and once aspiring actress Mimi Haleyi, now 42, at his apartment in 2006, and for the 2013 rape of former aspiring actress Jessica Mann, now 34, at a hotel.

Mimi Haleyi

Both women attended Wednesday’s sentencing to read impact statements to the judge before a packed courtroom. In her statement, Haleyi said her life has been in shambles since speaking out against Weinstein, fearing retribution and suffering from panic attacks and nightmares:

“This incident with Harvey Weinstein altered the course of my life. I’m relieved that there are woman out there who are safer because he’s not out there.” -Mimi Haleyi

Speaking from a wheelchair prior to sentencing, Weinstein compared the #MeToo movement to McCarthyism while playing down his clout in the movie industry. He said he has not seen his three eldest children since October 2017, when The New York Times and The New Yorker first published sexual misconduct allegations against him. Weinstein’s wife, English fashion designer Georgina Chapman, divorced him after the allegations became public. Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon had asked for the maximum sentence of 29 years. The minimum sentence is five years.

Weinstein still faces charges in Los Angeles for alleged assaults on an Italian actress whose name has not been disclosed, and Lauren Marie Young, 30, who is one of three accusers who testified as supporting witness in the New York trial. Young has accused Weinstein of trapping her inside a Beverly Hills hotel suite bathroom in 2013, masturbating as he groped her.

Weinstein accusers Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd

More than 90 women have come forward since 2017, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie, Mira Sorvino, Kate Beckinsale, and Salma Hayek, accusing Weinstein of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment, making him a prime figure in the #MeToo movement. Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein co-founded Miramax, which produced hits such as The Crying Game, Pulp Fiction, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love, the latter two earning him Best Picture Oscars. Lantern Entertainment purchased the brothers’ subsequent creation, The Weinstein Company, in 2018.

Weinstein, who attended his trial with the aid of a walker, had heart surgery after February’s guilty verdict to have a stent implanted just prior to being taken to the Rikers Island jail complex.


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