I feel like screaming and ripping my hair out sometimes after reading these accounts of Harvey Weinstein’s victims. One of the issues I keep coming back to is: why are there statutes of limitations on rape and sex crimes? Why is it that if a woman was raped 15 years ago, her rape “doesn’t count” within the justice system because the statute of limitations has expired? It’s such bullsh-t. We had this conversation during the pedophile-priest controversies in America and abroad, with so many of the crimes falling outside of the existing state and federal statutes. Just end the statute of limitations for sex crimes across the board, at every level.
Anyway, that ^ is mostly me just needing to focus my rage on something besides another devastating story about Harvey Weinstein raping another woman. This time the victim is Paz de la Huerta. Paz tells Vanity Fair that Weinstein first raped her in the fall of 2010, and then he raped her a second time in December of the same year. You can read the full VF story here. Here’s the main part of Paz’s story:
One night that November, de la Huerta ran into Harvey Weinstein at the Top of the Standard bar at the Standard, High Line hotel in Manhattan…When they met at the hotel in 2010 de la Huerta was 26 and Weinstein was at the height of his powers as an Oscar-winning producer. The Weinstein Company was about to enter a streak that would see it win best picture at the Academy Awards two years in a row, first for The King’s Speech in 2011 and then The Artist in 2012. Weinstein offered de la Huerta a ride home to Tribeca. In de la Huerta’s account of the night, Weinstein arrived at her apartment demanding to come inside and have a drink. “Things got very uncomfortable very fast,” the actress, now 33, told Vanity Fair in a phone interview on Wednesday.
“Immediately when we got inside the house, he started to kiss me and I kind of brushed [him] away,” de la Huerta said. “Then he pushed me onto the bed and his pants were down and he lifted up my skirt. I felt afraid. . . . It wasn’t consensual . . . It happened very quickly. . . . He stuck himself inside me. . . . When he was done he said he’d be calling me. I kind of just laid on the bed in shock.”
De la Huerta described a second assault that allegedly happened in late December 2010, when Weinstein showed up in her building lobby after she came home from a photo shoot. The actress said she had been drinking, and was frightened by Weinstein, who had been repeatedly calling her, despite her asking him to leave her alone. “He hushed me and said, ‘Let’s talk about this in your apartment,’” de la Huerta said. “I was in no state. I was so terrified of him. . . . I did say no, and when he was on top of me I said, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He kept humping me and it was disgusting. He’s like a pig. . . . He raped me.”
Afterward, de la Huerta said, “I laid there feeling sick. He looked at me and said, ‘I’ll put you in a play.’ He left and I never heard from him again. He knew he had done a bad thing.”
The rest of the Vanity Fair story is about the criminal case the New York special victims unit is building against Weinstein, and how Paz’s story might still be prosecutable because the statute of limitations hasn’t expired yet on rapes committed in 2010. What struck me was how similar Paz’s story is to Annabella Sciorra’s story, of how quickly Weinstein physically overwhelmed her in her own home. Weinstein’s rape of Sciorra would not be prosecutable though, because it happened in the early 1990s, outside of the statute of limitations.
Also: don’t even start with the “why did Paz let him into her apartment the second time,” trolls. DO NOT START. Paz is not a perfect victim – no woman is. She says she was drunk (which I believe) and he clearly took advantage of that. Women have the right to go out, drink alcohol and return to their apartments or homes without predators using their drunken state to intimidate them, manipulate them and rape them.
Photos courtesy of WENN.