Ashley Judd, #MeToo founders react to ruling overturning Harvey Weinstein’s conviction

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NEW YORK (AP) — A New York appeals court overturned Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction on Thursday, saying the trial judge should not have allowed other women to testify about alleged assaults the movie mogul wasn’t charged with. Here is some of the reaction to the decision:

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“This is what it’s like to be a woman in America, living with male entitlement to our bodies.” — Ashley Judd, whose on-the-record statement accusing Weinstein of sexually harassing her as a young actor helped launch the case.

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“Judges throughout this nation are going to scale back what they allow to come into evidence because it’s a constitutional right to tell your side of the story without having so much baggage from your whole life being put on display to a jury .. Harvey will, under this new ruling, be able to take the stand, will be able to tell his side of the story and be very consistent with what he said all along, which is, ‘Yes, there was the sexual encounter … But I never forced her to do anything.’ ” — Weinstein lawyer Arthur Aidala.

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“Because the brave women in this case broke their silence, millions and millions and millions of others found the strength to come forward and do the same. That will always be the victory. This doesn’t change that. And the people who abuse their power and privilege to violate and harm others will always be the villain. This doesn’t change that.” — Tarana Burke, who founded the #MeToo movement at large.

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“A jury was told in California that he was convicted in another state for rape … Turns out he shouldn’t have been convicted, and it wasn’t a fair conviction. … It interfered with his presumption of innocence in a significant way in California.” — Weinstein lawyer Jennifer Bonjean, who is appealing his Los Angeles rape conviction.

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“Today’s decision does not erase the truth of what happened. It doesn’t alter the reality that Weinstein is a serial sexual abuser who exploited his power for decades.” — Fatima Goss Graves, CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, which runs the Time’s Up Legal Fund, providing legal help and resources for people facing sexual harassment and violence.

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“Today’s decision reinforces what we already know through our survey of over 13,000 entertainment workers. We have seen a lack of progress in addressing the power imbalances that allow abuse to occur and that sexual assault continues to be a pervasive problem.” — Anita Hill, chair and president of The Hollywood Commission.

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