‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Responds To Harvey Weinstein Guilty Verdict

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Responds To Harvey Weinstein Guilty Verdict

 

Mariska Hargitay is a staunch advocate for survivors of sexual assault, both through her role as Olivia Benson on “Law & Order: SVU” and her real-life efforts. As a dedicated NYC police detective on the long-running NBC show, she investigates sex crimes with the elite special victims unit. Offscreen, she leads the Joyful Heart Foundation, which she founded in 2004 to support survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.

Hargitay’s commitment to this cause has led her to speak out about one of the most high-profile sexual assault cases in recent years: the conviction of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

On February 24, Weinstein was found guilty of rape and criminal sexual assault, although he was acquitted on two counts of predatory sexual assault. This landmark case against the founder of Miramax and The Weinstein Company is seen as a pivotal moment in the #MeToo movement.

Rumors about Weinstein’s predatory behavior had circulated for years. However, it was not until 2017, when the New York Times and the New Yorker published damning reports featuring numerous women who accused Weinstein of assault and subsequent intimidation, that his power began to wane. Weinstein was arrested in New York and charged with rape in May 2018.

Weinstein now faces a potential prison sentence of 5 to 29 years, with sentencing scheduled for March 11. He is also facing prosecution in Los Angeles.

Following the guilty verdict, many expressed relief on social media, including Hargitay. In a series of tweets, she conveyed her “mixed emotions” about the outcome. While she criticized the defense’s “victim-blaming tactics,” she also commended the survivors and their supporters for standing up to Weinstein.

“The Weinstein case represented some of the ugliest behavior I have seen in the criminal justice system,” she tweeted. “But it also represented some of the very best within our society. Together with the many survivors who traveled to support them, #silencebreakers channeled the strength to arrive at the courtroom day after day. They 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. That we stand with them, today and every day.”

In a separate Instagram post, Hargitay encouraged survivors to practice self-care in light of the emotional impact of the case and the verdict. She expressed gratitude to the brave women who testified and to the jury for seeing through the defense’s tactics. Hargitay also voiced her hope for future legal reforms that would ensure rape victims are heard and not discredited, making it easier for them to report their assaults.

Hargitay was not alone in speaking out. Celebrities like Ashley Judd, who accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, and Rosanna Arquette, who says Weinstein assaulted her, expressed their gratitude to the women who testified. Neither Judd nor Arquette testified in the trial, but their voices were part of the larger chorus of support.

“Today is a powerful day & a huge step forward in our collective healing,” tweeted Rose McGowan, another Weinstein accuser.

Others, such as Rowena Chiu, a former Miramax assistant who alleges Weinstein assaulted her in 1998, also shared their thoughts with the New York Times. Chiu emphasized that Weinstein’s conviction is just one part of a much larger issue. “This isn’t just a story of one man,” she said. “Even in the light of a conviction, it isn’t just one person. Obviously it is a really important victory for the #MeToo movement. But the #MeToo movement is much, much bigger than what happens to Harvey. This is certainly a moment of great encouragement and a milestone for me personally and the movement as a whole.”

Mariska Hargitay continues to be a powerful voice for justice, inspiring others to stand with survivors and advocate for change.

 

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