Watch as MeToo founder reacts to Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 conviction being overturned

Oliver Browning
Thursday 25 April 2024 18:18 BST

Watch as MeToo Founder Tarana Burke reacts to Harvey Weinstein’s conviction being overturned.

Weinstein's 2020 conviction for sexual assault and rape was overturned by New York's highest court on Thursday 25 April, reopening the landmark case that launched the #MeToo movement and highlighting the challenges of holding powerful men accountable.

In a bitterly divided 4-3 decision, the state Court of Appeals said the trial judge made a critical mistake by letting women testify that Weinstein assaulted them, even though their accusations were not part of the charges he faced.

The court said the trial judge compounded the error by letting Weinstein be cross-examined on a broad range of "loathsome" conduct, including bullying and fits of anger toward associates, that portrayed him in a "highly prejudicial" light.

"It is an abuse of judicial discretion to permit untested allegations of nothing more than bad behaviour that destroys a defendant's character but sheds no light on their credibility as related to the criminal charges," Judge Jenny Rivera wrote for the majority.

"The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial," she added.

Weinstein is currently in a Rome, New York prison — but this decision does not mean he will walk free.

The producer still faces a 16-year sentence in California after he was convicted of rape in 2022.

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