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Mariska Hargitay Calls Harvey Weinstein’s Overturned Rape Conviction ‘Infuriating’

Mariska Hargitay Calls Harvey Weinsteins Overturned Rape Conviction Infuriating and Incorrigible
Mariska Hargitay, Harvey Weinstein Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images;DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images(2)

Mariska Hargitay slammed Harvey Weinstein’s overturned 2020 conviction in New York State for rape.

The Law & Order: SVU star, 60, investigates sex crimes in her TV series, and she recently revealed that she is also a rape victim.

“The reversal of Harvey Weinstein’s conviction comes as a painful and infuriating affront to survivors and advocates everywhere,” Hargitay wrote via Instagram on Thursday, April 25. “To every survivor in this case and every survivor who has to bear witness to this incorrigible marriage of justice, my heart is with you today, tomorrow, and forever.”

Weinstein, now 72, was arrested in May 2018 on charges involving actress Lucia Evans and a second unidentified woman. His arrest followed an investigation into accusations of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women in 2017. The Miramax cofounder was found guilty of rape in February 2020 and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

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As Weinstein reported to prison, his legal team filed an appeal to the verdict. The New York Court of Appeals overturned the ruling 4-3 on Thursday.

The decision came after Weinstein’s attorney Arthur Aidala claimed that his client didn’t receive a fair trial due to decisions made by trial judge James Burke, alleging that Weinstein’s character was on trial rather than the allegations he was facing.

Hargitay’s condemnation of the reversal follows her revelation earlier this year that she was a victim of sexual assault several years ago.

“A man raped me in my thirties,” Hargitay wrote in an essay for People published on January 10. “It wasn’t sexual at all. It was dominance and control. Overpowering control.”


Related: Sharing Their Stories: Stars Who Survived Abuse

Hargitay revealed it was “a friend” who had raped her.

“I tried all the ways I knew to get out of it. I tried to make jokes, to be charming, to set a boundary, to reason, to say no. He grabbed me by the arms and held me down. I was terrified. I didn’t want it to escalate to violence,” she wrote. “I now know it was already sexual violence, but I was afraid he would become physically violent. I went into freeze mode, a common trauma response when there is no option to escape. I checked out of my body.”

Hargitay has been an advocate for sexual assault victims for two decades. In 2004, she created the Joyful Heart foundation, which has a mission to “transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever,” according to the foundation’s website.

As Hargitay protested the reversal of Weinstein’s conviction, the attorney who represented eight of Weinstein’s victims also condemned the court ruling.

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Related: Hollywood's Sexual Misconduct Scandals

“Today’s decision is a major step back in holding those accountable for acts of sexual violence,” Douglas H. Wigdor told Us Weekly in a statement. “Courts routinely admit evidence of other uncharged acts where they assist juries in understanding issues concerning the intent, modus operandi or scheme of the defendant. The jury was instructed on the relevance of this testimony and overturning the verdict is tragic in that it will require the victims to endure yet another trial.”

Despite the reversal in New York, Weinstein remains in prison in California on separate charges.

In July 2021, he was extradited to Los Angeles, where he was found guilty of three of seven charges in December 2022. He was sentenced to an additional 16 years in jail to be served separately from his New York sentence.

The California conviction is not affected by the New York ruling.

If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.

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