Mariska Hargitay denounces Harvey Weinstein’s overturned rape conviction: ‘Incorrigible’

‘Law & Order’ star opened up about her own experience with sexual assault earlier this year

Inga Parkel
Thursday 25 April 2024 23:00 BST
Harvey Weinstein's 2020 rape conviction overturned by New York appeals court

Law & Order star Mariska Hargitay has condemned the overturning of disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction, calling the New York ruling a “miscarriage of justice”.

On Thursday (25 April), the New York Court of Appeals made a 4-3 decision to overturn Weinstein’s 2020 conviction, stating that the original trial judge made “egregious errors” by allowing prosecutors to call witnesses whose allegations were not related to the charges at hand.

Hours later, Hargitay, 60, reacted to the “incorrigible” news on Instagram, writing: “The reversal of Harvey Weinstein’s conviction comes as a painful and infuriating affront to survivors and advocates everywhere.

“To every survivor involved in the case and every survivor who has to bear witness to this incorrigible miscarriage of justice, my heart is with you today, tomorrow, and forever.”

Actor Ashley Judd, who was among the first women to make allegations on the record against Weinstein, also spoke out against the overturned conviction.

“This is unfair to survivors. We Live In Our Truth. We know what happened,” she wrote in an Instagram Story.

“This is what it’s like to be a woman in America, living with male entitlement to our bodies,” the Double Jeopardy star, 56, later said at a press conference.

Hargitay opened up about her own experience with sexual assault in an essay for People earlier this year, alleging that a man who she considered to be a “friend” had “raped me in my thirties”.

“I couldn’t process it. I couldn’t believe that it happened. That it could happen. So I cut it out,” she wrote in January. “I removed it from my narrative. I now have so much empathy for the part of me that made that choice because that part got me through it. It never happened. Now I honor that part: I did what I had to do to survive.”

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In 2020, Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping former actor Jessica Mann in 2013. He is currently serving a 23-year sentence at a prison in upstate New York.

Several women who were not involved in the official charges testified against Weinstein at the 2020 trial. The witnesses included actor model Tarale Wulff, who said Weinstein raped her in 2005; actor and producer Dawn Dunning, who said he put his hand up her skirt in 2004; and Lauren Young, who said Weinstein masturbated in front of her and groped her in 2013.

Mariska Hargitay and Harvey Weinstein
Mariska Hargitay and Harvey Weinstein (Getty Images)

The landmark trial stood as a major step forward in the #MeToo movement. And while Thursday’s ruling was a blow to #MeToo advocates, the court noted that it was based on legal technicalities and not an exoneration of Weinstein’s behaviour, saying the original trial irrevocably moved the cultural needle on attitudes about sexual assault, according to The Associated Press.

This ruling does not mean Weinstein will walk free, as the producer still faces a 16-year sentence in California after he was convicted of rape in 2022.

Instead, Weinstein is now entitled to a new trial in New York, which his legal team confirmed it will pursue.

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