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#MeToo victory vindicates brave women who stood up to power

Celia Walden


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Fighting back: Model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez – the first woman to report Weinstein to the police – after yesterday’s verdict. Photo: REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

Fighting back: Model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez – the first woman to report Weinstein to the police – after yesterday’s verdict. Photo: REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

REUTERS

Fighting back: Model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez – the first woman to report Weinstein to the police – after yesterday’s verdict. Photo: REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

It took a jury of seven men and five women a little over 26 hours to find Harvey Weinstein guilty on two counts: criminal sexual assault in the first degree, based on the testimony of former 'Project Runway' production assistant Miriam Haley, and rape in the third degree, based on the testimony of aspiring actress Jessica Mann.

That verdict will be heard by many as "guilty, but not guilty enough". But make no mistake, this is still a victory for the six women brave enough to take the stand over the past month - and a victory for MeToo.

The moment actress Alyssa Milano reacted to the first reports of sexual assault by Weinstein on the night of October 15, 2017 with the tweet "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too'" was the moment the producer became an emblem of everything MeToo was fighting to highlight and stamp out - from predatory sexual behaviour to abuses of power in and out of the workplace. It was clear that if this went all the way to court, it wouldn't just be Weinstein on trial, but the entire MeToo movement.