On March 11, 2020, fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein received a criminal sentence of 23 years in a New York state prison. He received 20 years on the count of criminal sexual assault of Miriam Haley and 3 years on the count of rape in the third degree of Jessica Mann.
Wigdor LLP client Tarale Wulff was one of three Molineux witnesses who testified against Weinstein during his criminal trial in New York County Supreme Court. Ms. Wulff testified that in 2005, while employed as a cocktail server at Cipriani Downtown, she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein after he lured her to his apartment under the guise of reading a script for a potential acting role.
Since Ms. Wulff was not a named victim in the trial, she was not permitted to give a victim impact statement at Mr. Weinstein’s sentencing hearing. However, the day before the sentencing hearing, Ms. Wulff published an Open Letter in which she described the impact of her assault and reflected on the overall experience of participating in the trial.
"My hope is that Judge Burke will hold Weinstein accountable by imposing a prison sentence that reflects what he has done to us and knowing that whatever sentence he renders, it will never undo what has happened."
—Tarale Wulff#HarveyWeinstein https://t.co/9tWnUXLjOF
— Douglas Wigdor – Wigdor Law (@WigdorLaw) March 10, 2020
Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse shortly after the 23-year sentence was handed down by Judge James Burke, Ms. Wulff said the sentence made her feel “joyous” and that she hoped it was just the beginning of a wider conversation about sexual assault.
The criminal sentence does not mark the end of Weinstein’s legal troubles; Wigdor LLP represents five other survivors of Weinstein’s sexual abuse who have objected to the proposed “global settlement” of all civil cases against Weinstein. On March 9, 2020, seven Weinstein survivors published an open letter calling on New York Attorney General Letitia James to renegotiate the settlement terms “so that the victims’ fund adequately compensates victims and doesn’t fund the alleged wrongdoers’ defense,” and to “swiftly reject the punitive terms applicable to non-settling victims which put such severe restrictions on their ability to pursue justice on their own terms.”
Statement from Douglas H. Wigdor, Founding Partner at Wigdor LLP:
“While today’s sentencing closes one chapter in this saga, there are many other survivors seeking to hold Weinstein and his enablers accountable for their actions. The baton has now been passed from the Manhattan District Attorney to the New York Attorney General. It is time for her to step up and take the lead on this historic settlement negotiation. The Attorney General’s statement on Monday said that she was fighting for the best settlement possible in bankruptcy court. But the only entity in bankruptcy is The Weinstein Company. Harvey Weinstein is not in bankruptcy. Robert Weinstein is not in bankruptcy. Nor are the directors and officers of The Weinstein Company, Disney, and their billion-dollar insurance companies. Giving these people and companies a pass and taking millions of dollars out of the victims’ fund to pay defense lawyers is not a ‘fight,’ it is a surrender. Attorney General James did not run on a platform of selling out survivors. She needs to do the job she was elected to do. The Weinstein survivors deserve nothing less.”