Law & Order SVU Star Mariska Hargitay Responds To Harvey Weinstein Case

Mariska HargitayMariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay not only champions victims’ rights as Capt. Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU, but she lends her support to real-life victims, too. Now, Hargitay is speaking out after the guilty verdicts in the Harvey Weinstein case came down on Monday.

Mariska Hargitay Speaks Out

In 2004, the Emmy-winning star founded the Joyful Heart Foundation to support victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.

“I join the survivor advocacy in having mixed emotions today,” the actress posted on Twitter. “The Weinstein case represented some of the ugliest behavior I have seen in the criminal justice system. In fact, I am still reeling after some of the victim-blaming tactics used by the defense.

“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.”

On Monday, a jury returned a guilty verdict in two of the five counts against Weinstein. He was convicted of both criminal sexual assault in the first degree and rape in the third degree. Weinstein was remanded into custody following the reading of the verdicts. He will be sentenced on Wednesday, March 11. He’s currently being held at Bellevue Hospital’s prison ward in Manhattan.

The convicted rapist and former movie mogul’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, told reporters that Weinstein was shocked at the verdict “but stoic at the same time… All he kept saying over and over again was, ‘I’m innocent. I’m innocent. How could this happen in America?'”

Actress Annabella Sciorra, who had testified that Weinstein had raped her in the 1990s, released a statement after the verdicts were announced saying her testimony was “painful but necessary… While we hope for continued righteous outcomes that bring absolute justice, we can never regret breaking the silence. For in speaking truth to power we pave the way for a more just culture, free of the scourge of violence against women.”


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