Harvey Weinstein says men are 'confused about all of this,' his attorney calls sentence 'obscene'

Ed wrote about the 23-year prison sentence that Harvey Weinsein received this morning. Just before he was sentenced, Weinstein gave a statement in which he claimed he was confused and said he and his accusers had “different truths.”

“I think men are confused about all of this,” Weinstein said. “This feeling of thousands of men and women who are losing due process… I’m worried about this country.”…

“To all the women who testified, we may have different truths, but I have great remorse for all of you,” he said, saying he thought he had a “friendship” with both victims. “I had wonderful times with these people.”…

Weinstein closed his statement by attributing his failings to working too hard.

“I worked too hard,” he said. “I really feel remorse for this situation. I feel it deeply in my heart. I feel emotional.”

Weinstein sounds like someone who was told by his attorney to express “remorse” so he repeated the word, like a bad actor, without knowing what it meant. Remorse isn’t something you have for other people, that’s empathy or sympathy (two other words he apparently doesn’t understand). Remorse is something you feel about your own bad behavior, a shame and regret at having done the wrong thing and hurt someone else. If Harvey is feeling confused and still thinks his victims were friends, he isn’t experiencing any real remorse.

After the sentence was handed out, Weinstein’s defense attorney Donna Rotunno expressed anger about it:

“That sentence that was just handed down by this court was obscene,” Rotunno said. “I am overcome with anger at that number. I think that number is a cowardly number to give.”…

“There are murderers who will get out of court faster than Harvey Weinstein will,” Rotunno said. “We hope this sentence will speak to the appellate court in a way that will show this has been unfair from the beginning.”

She may have a point but Weinstein clearly deserves this. In fact he deserves a lot more than 23 years in prison if he’s done even half of what he’s accused of doing. One of the women who accused him of sexual assault 22 years ago, actress Caitlin Dulany, reacted to the sentencing with a piece published by NBC News:

On Wednesday, when the judge sentenced him to 23 years in prison, overwhelming relief washed over me. Harvey was going to jail and wouldn’t be free for a very long time. And with this came a bittersweet feeling: one of mourning what was lost and simultaneously celebrating a truly historic victory.

Leading up to his conviction and sentencing, I was having a hard time imagining what it would feel like to see justice on a personal level. My assault by Weinstein 22 years ago at the Cannes Film Festival was a devastating and life-altering event. Like many survivors, I have carried the cost of that crime with me throughout my life. The shame and trauma of my experience, along with the loneliness and isolation of having kept silent for so long, were a heavy burden. And while I have experienced a great deal of healing and empowerment by speaking out more recently, I knew that a not guilty verdict would be a setback for me and all the other women who have come forward about Weinstein’s crimes…

With Wednesday’s sentencing, I have a renewed sense of hope and faith that more women will find the courage to come forward with their stories of assault, that they will be believed and that their abusers will be punished. We have arrived at a profound moment in history, and I am certain that moving forward, the world will be a different place for survivors of sexual assault and a safer place for all.

Others connected to the case are reacting on Twitter: