Vindication, triumph, also fear: Weinstein accusers react

AP Photo/Andres Kudacki Harvey Weinstein, second left, is loaded into an unmarked vehicle while leaving the first precinct of the New York City Police Department after turning himself to authorities following allegations of sexual misconduct, Friday, May 25, 2018, in New York.

NEW YORK — Watching the stunning images of Harvey Weinstein walking into a courthouse Friday in handcuffs, a detective on each arm, Louisette Geiss still felt a shiver of fear in reaction to the man who, she says, once cornered her and tried to physically force her to watch him masturbate.

Yes, Weinstein had certainly fallen hard and fast. And yet, Geiss said, even in handcuffs, he still somehow looked powerful and defiant — not humbled, and certainly not remorseful.

“He’s not taking responsibility for a single one of these victims,” she said in an interview. “He looks like he’s just going through the machinery to get to the next step. I’m still scared, even talking to you about Harvey.”

To be sure, there was plenty of satisfaction and relief among the scores of Weinstein accusers as the disgraced mogul, who has consistently denied allegations of nonconsensual sex, was arraigned sex charges involving two women, including one rape count. But emotions were mixed. Actress Rose McGowan tweeted: “We got you, Harvey Weinstein.” But she also expressed uncertainty about how the case would play out in what she called an “elusive” justice system.

And others, like Geiss, who is a lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Weinstein, cautioned there was a long way to go before ultimate vindication. “This is a win, but not THE win,” she said. “The win would be him behind bars, not living on an estate somewhere.”

Another accuser, actress Caitlin Dulany, felt more optimistic. “Today was a great day for all of us,” she said, referring to what she called a sisterhood of accusers. “The fact that our voices have made a difference means so much to me and to all of us who spoke out in the MeToo movement.”