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'Age of empowerment,' accusers hail Weinstein convictions

The 67-year-old was acquitted of the most serious charge of predatory sexual assault but faces a lengthy jail term.

In this file photo taken on 24 January 2020 Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court for his rape and sexual assault trial in New York City. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK - Harvey Weinstein was convicted on Monday of sexual assault and rape, more than two years after allegations of the disgraced movie mogul's sexual misconduct sparked the global #MeToo movement.

The 67-year-old was acquitted of the most serious charge of predatory sexual assault but faces a lengthy jail term.

The guilty verdicts were hailed as a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement, with accusers, activists and attorneys lining up to congratulate prosecutors.

Here is the best of the reactions:

'COLLECTIVE HEALING'

Actress Ashley Judd, one of the first Weinstein accusers to go public with her allegations, thanked the six women who told the high-profile trial that the ex-Hollywood titan had sexually assaulted them.

"For the women who testified in this case, and walked through traumatic hell, you did a public service to girls and women everywhere, thank you. #ConvictWeinstein #Guilty," she wrote on Twitter.

Actress Ellen Barkin simply named them.

"Right now Harvey Weinstein is on his way to prison. These are the women who put him away... Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Lauren Young, Tarale Wulff," she tweeted.

High-profile accuser Rose McGowan tweeted: "Today is a powerful day & a huge step forward in our collective healing."

Italian actress and director Asia Argento, who told the New Yorker magazine that Weinstein raped her in 1997, posted a photo of herself and another woman on Instagram.

"Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist. Two survivors cry and celebrate. Thank you God," she wrote alongside it.

Actress Rosanna Arquette paid tribute on Twitter to "the brave women who've testified and to the jury for seeing through the dirty tactics of the defense."

Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, said in a statement: "The implications reverberate far beyond Hollywood and into the daily lives of all of us in the rest of the world."

SCIORRA LAMENT

Gloria Allred, attorney for Sciorra and Haleyi, told reporters outside court that, "It's no longer business as usual in the United States."

"This is the age of empowerment of women, and you cannot intimidate them anymore, because women will not be silenced," she said.

"They will speak up, they will have their voice, they will stand up and be subjected to your small army of defence attorneys cross-examining them, attempting to discredit them," Allred added.

Some took to social media to express regret that the jury failed to convict Weinstein of predatory sexual assault based on the testimony of "The Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra.

She testified that Weinstein raped her almost 30 years ago as the prosecution sought to portray him as a career sexual predator.

"HARVEY WEINSTEIN HAS BEEN HANDCUFFED & TAKEN TO JAIL!" tweeted actress Rosie Perez, who testified on Sciorra's behalf during the trial.

"GUTTED FOR MY DEAR FRIEND #ANNABELLASCIORRA WHO TOLD THE TRUTH! YET I CONGRATULATE HER & ALL WHO CAME FORWARD FOR THEIR BRAVERY. THIS IS NOT ENOUGH BUT SURVIVORS TAKE COURAGE! THIS IS STILL A GREAT WIN!" she wrote.

"#IBelieveAnnabellaSciorra," actress Alyssa Milano wrote on Twitter.

Journalist and former Miss America Gretchen Carlson simply tweeted: "I hope the handcuffs are tight..."

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