Before fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein rolled up to the New York City Police Department Friday morning to turn himself in, Tarana Burke, the founder of the #Me Too movement, said his arrest on sexual assault charges represents a shift in the movement to change how sexual violence is handled.
“This moves from the court of public opinion into an actual courtroom,” Burke told Variety. “That is super cathartic for a bunch of the survivors, or even survivors who are not necessarily victimized by him.”
Weinstein was charged with rape and a criminal sex act on two women after surrendering to authorities on Friday at about 7:30 a.m.
The rape charge involves a woman not previously named publicly, while the sex abuse charge stems from a complaint made by actress Lucia Evans. In an interview with The New Yorker, Evans alleged that in 2004, the producer made her engage in oral sex.
“I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’” she told the outlet. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him.”
She didn’t report the incident to the police at the time, telling The New Yorker that she blamed herself for not fighting back.
“It was always my fault for not stopping him,” she said.
Weinstein rolled up to the NYPD precinct in a black SUV and said nothing as paps and news crews swarmed around him. He was wearing a blue V-neck sweater with a blazer and dress pants for his fingerprinting and mug shot.
Weinstein carried several books with him inside, one of which was “Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution” by Todd S. Purdum.
Multiple women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, sexual assault or rape, while more than 50 women have accused him of misconduct.
To see him face charges, Burke said, is almost unbelievable.
“I was surprised,” she said, adding that she’s happy for victims of Weinstein, with whom she said she has been in touch.
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