For Mira Sorvino, Harvey Weinstein’s indictment wasn’t a cause for celebration—not just yet. In her first television interview since Weinstein was charged late last month, the actress reflected on her complicated feelings toward his arrest, along with her hope that it won’t be long before justice is truly served.
“He’s raped many people that I love, so it’s not really a happy occasion,” Sorvino said on the Today show on Wednesday. “It feels like a really good first step. It’s him finally facing real, real criminal consequences for his criminal behavior. And so for that I feel gratified. But, honestly, last weekend was a very emotional one, and I cried many times because just seeing him brings up a lot of bad feelings.”
Sorvino was one of many to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment in a report published by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker last October. In the piece, Sorvino details how, after her Oscar-winning role in Mighty Aphrodite, the mogul made sexual advances toward her in a Toronto hotel room.
“At the time it happened I told everyone I knew,” Sorvino explained on the show. Even so, she said, “[I] didn’t really understand the law and I didn’t think I was important enough to make a big enough deal over. I just kind of tried to put it to the side and keep working and go on about my life.”
Since the exposés last fall, Sorvino has been vocal about the odd career slump that followed her Oscar win, writing in a December Hollywood Reporter guest column, “I felt if I had accepted Harvey’s advances, I would have continued to make movies with them, and they were the people winning the Oscars for that decade. I was not offered any movie roles past 1996.”
Since then, directors such as Peter Jackson and Terry Zwigoff have confirmed the blacklisting, recalling that Weinstein urged them against casting Sorvino for several high profile roles. The news that she had been shut out of these projects hit Sorvino “like a thunderbolt,” she said. “It was really like this malevolent hand that changed the course of my life and my professional horizons.”
When asked what might have happened had she known about the multitude of other women tormented by Weinstein, Sorvino teared up. “I think we would have found strength in numbers,” she said. “We would have done something a lot sooner.”
After months of denying any engagement in non-consensual sexual contact, Weinstein pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of rape and assault during a Supreme Court arraignment on Tuesday. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.
“Right now, I’m really excited to be a part of this movement,” Sorvino said, aligning herself with campaigns like #MeToo and #TakeTheLead. And if we really are on the cusp of a broader cultural shift, she added, “then all of this will have been worth it.”