After Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape earlier this week, Hollywood actress Rose McGowan, who was one of the first women to speak out about Weinstein’s behavior, criticized the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for not prosecuting Weinstein sooner.
“I really thought we were going to talk about him getting off, and it’s not because I was thinking ‘oh, the jury, or this or that,’ it was just the people behind it, the people behind the charges,” McGowan told journalist Ronan Farrow on an episode of the “Catch and Kill” podcast.
Aside from blaming the district attorney’s office, McGowan also blamed Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) for halting a probe into how a 2015 criminal investigation of Weinstein was handled.
“The DA that dropped the effort to charge him before; Cuomo, who dropped the investigation into Cyrus Vance, quietly and without much notice. I wonder if he’ll pick that one up. Didn’t the DA of the sex crimes unit just step down last week?” said McGowan.
“They have rape on their hands, they have pain on their hands, not that they care. They also took huge donations, they’re all connected through the Democratic Party. Governor Cuomo, I find it really troublesome that he dropped the investigation into Cy Vance the DA,” said McGowan.
“There’s some stuff that needs to be uncovered there,” said McGowan.
In 2015, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance (D-NY) declined to press charges against Harvey Weinstein for allegedly groping Italian model Ambra Gutierrez and reaching up her skirt. Gutierrez went to the authorities immediately after the incident, and obtained a recording of Weinstein admitting to touching her breasts the following day.
As the Daily Wire previously reported, the recording was obtained as part of a police sting operation, and Gutierrez received the admission as the former movie mogul unsuccessfully tried to pressure her into his hotel room for a “massage.”
GUTIERREZ: I know, but yesterday was too much for me.
WEINSTEIN: I will never do another thing to you. Five minutes: Don’t ruin your friendship with me for five minutes.
GUTIERREZ: I know, but it’s kind of like, it’s too much for me….
GUTIERREZ: Why yesterday you touched my breasts?
WEINSTEIN: Oh please, I’m sorry, just come on in, I’m used to that.
GUTIERREZ: You’re used to that?
WEINSTEIN: Yes, come in.
GUTIERREZ: No, but I’m not used to that.
WEINSTEIN: I won’t do it again. Come on, sit here. Sit here for a minute, please?
“It’s obviously sickening,” Vance said in 2015 regarding the audio recording, reported the New York Times. “But at the end of the day we operate in a courtroom of law, not the court of public opinion, and our sex crime prosecutors made a determination that this was not going to be a provable case.”
However, while Vance’s office was deciding whether to press charges, Weinstein was being represented by Elkan Abramowitz, a former colleague of Vance and donor to his campaigns, reported the Times.
As the Daily Wire previously reported, David Boies, a lawyer who represented Weinstein in civil cases, donated $10,000 to Vance in the months after the DA decided to not pursue the case against Weinstein.
In response, Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic governor of New York, launched a 2018 investigation into how Vance handled the decision to not charge Weinstein, saying it was necessary to establish that the cases were pursued adequately as a matter of “public confidence.”
“It is of great concern that sexual assault cases have not been pursued with full vigor by our criminal justice system,” said Cuomo at the time, shortly after receiving a high-profile letter to investigate the matter, reports the Times.
“It is critical not only that these cases are given the utmost attention but also that there is public confidence in the handling of these cases,” said Cuomo.
As the Daily Wire previously reported, later that year, Cuomo suspended the investigation into Vance, around the same time the governor’s campaign received $25,000 from the law firm where attorney David Boies worked. Between 2009 and 2018, the Cuomo campaign received a total $250,000 from Boies and his associates at the law firm.
Earlier this week, a Manhattan jury found Weinstein guilty of first-degree criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape for two instances unrelated to the 2015 investigation. Weinstein was acquitted of two counts of predatory sexual assault, the most serious charges, but still faces between five and twenty-nine years in prison, and has a pending criminal case in Los Angeles.
Martha Bashford, the sex crimes district attorney who recommended in 2015 that Vance not charge Weinstein, resigned several days before the jury began deliberations.
In response to Weinstein’s guilty verdict, McGowan tweeted at the Manhattan DA’s office and Cuomo, demanding that they bring unspecified actions forward.
“Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist. The preferential treatment by [The Manhattan DA’s Office] must end. You let [Harvey Weinstein] off before, he donated [money] to you [and] raped again. A jury found him guilty. Please do not betray your oath of office, [Andrew Cuomo], we demand action,” tweeted McGowan earlier this week.
Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist. The preferential treatment by @ManhattanDA must end. You let HW off before, he donated $ to you & raped again. A jury found him guilty. Please do not betray your oath of office. @andrewcuomo, We demand action
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) February 26, 2020
After the Weinstein verdict, Cyrus Vance declared in a press conference that there was now a “new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in America,” reports the Associated Press.
“It is a new day because Harvey Weinstein has finally been held accountable for crimes he committed,” said Vance. “Weinstein is a vicious, serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault and trick, humiliate and silence his victims.”
According to the Daily Beast, Ambra Gutierrez, the Italian model who accused Weinstein of groping her in 2015, has called on Vance to resign.
“It should be accepted that he did something wrong, because otherwise it could discourage a lot of other victims [from going] forward with their cases, and I feel that’s not fair,” Gutierrez told the news agency. “We really need to give the right example.”