Actress Annabella Sciorra on Monday responded to Harvey Weinstein’s guilty verdict on sex crimes. “My testimony was painful but necessary,” she said, acknowledging that the jury found the mogul not guilty on the two criminal counts involving her testimony.
“I spoke for myself and with the strength of the eighty plus victims of Harvey Weinstein in my heart,” the former “Sopranos” star said. “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.”
A New York jury on Monday found Weinstein guilty of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sexual act, ending a months-long criminal trial in Manhattan that focused on the testimonies of six women who accused him of sexual assault. He could face up to 29 years in prison.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents several Weinstein accusers, offered praise for Sciorra. “Annabella is absolutely one of the bravest women I know,” Allred said during a post-verdict press conference. “She sacrificed so much privacy, invested so much time, went through so much just for the cause of justice. She didn’t have to do it — she did do it. And I’m just so honored to know her and to represent her.”
The “Sopranos” actress testified in January that the disgraced film producer raped her in her Manhattan apartment around 1993 during an emotional and often tearful appearance in a New York courtroom.
“I was punching him, I was kicking him, I was just trying to get him away from me and he took my hands and put my hands over my head to hold me back,” Sciorra said on the stand as a witness for the prosecution, getting choked up as she demonstrated where she said he held her hands.
Sciorra testified that she did not tell anybody about the alleged assault for a very long time after it occurred but began abusing alcohol and cutting herself. She also testified that she later confronted Weinstein about the encounter in her apartment. “I told him how I woke up and that I blacked out and fainted,” she said. “He said, ‘That’s what all the nice Catholic girls (say).’”
Then, Sciorra said, Weinstein became “menacing” and told her, “This remains between you and I.” She added, “His eyes were black, and I thought he was going to hit me right there. It was threatening and I was afraid of him.”