Donald Trump hails Harvey Weinstein conviction, says the verdict sends 'strong message for women'
Harvey Weinstein's conviction of rape and sexual assault was a "great victory" for women and sends a "very strong message", US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday.
Trump—who was photographed with Weinstein in 2009 at an afterparty for the producer’s film Nine, claimed that he knew very little of the media mogul. “I was just not a fan of his,” Trump insisted at a press conference in India during his two-day state visit. “I knew him a little bit, not very well. I knew him because he was in New York. Not a person that I liked.”
"I think that from the standpoint of women, I think it was a great thing," Trump said at a news conference in India, a day after Weinstein was convicted.
Weinstein was convicted Monday of rape and sexual assault against two women and could be sent to prison for decades, sealing his dizzying fall from powerful Hollywood studio boss to archvillain of the #MeToo movement. He was convicted on charges stemming from a 2006 sexual assault and a 2013 rape.
However, Trump himself has faced allegations of sexual misconduct. At least 20 women have accused him of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior dating as far back as the 1970s, reports USA Today.
Among them is prominent writer E. Jean Carroll who alleges that Trump sexually assaulted her in the changing room of a luxury New York department store in the mid-1990s. In November 2019, Carroll announced that she is suing him for defamation, claiming that his denials of the alleged attack, in which Trump said, "She's not my type," had damaged her reputation and career.
Meanwhile, Weinstein's conviction was seen as a long-overdue reckoning after years of whispers about his behavior turned into a torrent of accusations in 2017 that destroyed his career and gave rise to #MeToo, the global movement to encourage women to come forward and hold powerful men accountable for their sexual misconduct.
The jury of seven men and five women took five days to find him guilty. Weinstein will be sentenced on 11 March.
(With inputs from agencies)
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