Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison Wednesday in a New York courtroom, the end result of a case that fueled the worldwide #MeToo motion and inspired ladies to communicate out in opposition to sexual abuse.

“I really feel remorse for this situation,” the previous Hollywood producer mentioned, his voice barely audible, as he addressed the court docket earlier than the sentence was handed down. “I feel it deeply in my heart. I will spend my time really caring and really trying to be a better person.”

“I’m not going to say that these aren’t great people,” he additionally mentioned of his accusers. “I’ve had wonderful times with these people.”

Weinstein wore a clean face as he was taken out of the courtroom. His accusers cried collectively in the entrance row.

Prosecutors and leaders of the #MeToo motion praised the prolonged sentence, whereas Weinstein’s protection lawyer Donna Rotunno referred to as it “obscene,” “obnoxious” and “cowardly.”

Weinstein, 67, arrived to his sentencing listening to in a wheelchair and handcuffs. He had confronted between 5 and 29 years for final month’s convictions.

Judge James Burke sentenced him to 20 years in prison for first-degree felony sexual act and three years in prison for third-degree rape. The sentences will run consecutively and each include 5 years of supervision after launch.

The costs had been primarily based on testimony by Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann, who each spoke at Wednesday’s sentencing.

“If Harvey Weinstein had not been convicted by this jury, it would have happened again and again and again,” Haley instructed the court docket. “I’m relieved he will now know he’s not above the law. I’m relieved there are women out there who are safer because he’s not out there.”

Weinstein’s assertion got here as a shock

Weinstein’s feedback in court docket had been surprising. In basic, defendants planning to attraction a responsible verdict or who face different costs don’t communicate at sentencing as a result of what they are saying can be utilized in opposition to them, in accordance to Michelle Simpson Tuegel, an lawyer who has labored in felony protection.

Weinstein, who didn’t testify in the course of the trial, spoke Wednesday for about 20 minutes, persevering with whilst protection lawyer Arthur Aidala repeatedly and quietly requested him to cease speaking.

Weinstein mentioned he believed the relationships with ladies who spoke out in opposition to him had been consensual, mentioning Mann. “I really, really was under that impression that I had that kind of relationship, five years with Jessica,” he mentioned.

He lamented how the allegations had impacted his private life.

“I haven’t seen my three older children since the day the New York Times article came out,” he mentioned, referring to the October 2017 story that broke open a wave of claims in opposition to Weinstein. “I haven’t seen them. I have no idea what they’re doing. That, to me, is hell on Earth.”

Weinstein mentioned he is nervous about this nation and folks’s proper to due course of. He additionally instructed the choose that he needed to testify in the course of the trial however his attorneys warned him that it could harm his case.

Outside court docket, Rotunno mentioned Weinstein feels “terrible” and is “confused” concerning the sentence, including that she supported his resolution to communicate in court docket.

“I’m happy that Harvey spoke. Harvey has been silent for years. I think Harvey could have said anything today and it wouldn’t have mattered,” Rotunno mentioned. “From Harvey’s perspective, Harvey needed to do that, and I’m glad that he was able to do so.”

Haley, Mann and the 4 different ladies who testified in opposition to Weinstein at his trial — actress Annabella Sciorra and three “prior bad acts” witnesses — arrived to court docket with prosecutors and sat in the entrance row. Actress Rosie Perez, who testified in help of Sciorra’s claims, walked in with them and sat in the second row.

Weinstein was acquitted of two extra critical costs of predatory sexual assault, which may have include a life sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon had requested Burke on Wednesday to sentence Weinstein to the utmost or close to the utmost sentence.

Defense attorneys had requested that he get the minimal doable sentence: 5 years. Anything greater than that’s “basically the death penalty,” Aidala mentioned, citing Weinstein’s well being and age. He referred to as him a “broken down man.”

Weinstein has been in state custody because the verdict and has had a number of well being points. He had a coronary heart process final week throughout which docs inserted a stent, and on Sunday he fell whereas at Rikers Island jail, his publicist Juda Engelmayer instructed CNN.

Victims describe how Weinstein modified their lives

In court docket earlier than the sentence was delivered, Haley broke down crying as she described throughout her sufferer influence assertion being assaulted by Weinstein.

“I believe that when he attacked me that evening with physical force, with no regard for my cries and protests, it scarred me deeply — mentally and emotionally,” Haley mentioned.

Haley mentioned the previous two years have been excruciating, full of paranoia and each day worry of retaliation. And whereas testifying in opposition to Weinstein was tough, it did assist Haley course of what had occurred to her, she mentioned.

Haley felt Weinstein confirmed a scarcity of regret or acknowledgment for his crimes, she mentioned, and she requested the choose to think about a sentence “long enough for Harvey Weinstein to acknowledge what he has done.”

Mann minutes later requested Burke to impose the utmost sentence for rape in the third diploma, with sentences served concurrently.

Mann needs the “gift” of understanding precisely the place Weinstein is always, she mentioned, including she hopes he’ll be rehabilitated in prison.

“Twelve people found Harvey unanimously guilty of raping me. That is not an easy task,” she mentioned.

Mann additionally referenced drug costs that she mentioned carry longer sentence suggestions than third-degree rape.

“How am I not worth more than cocaine?” she mentioned.

Weinstein additionally faces felony costs of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of drive and sexual battery by restraint in Los Angeles. Prosecutors say he raped one lady and sexually assaulted one other in separate incidents over a two-day interval in February 2013.

Weinstein has not turned himself in or been arraigned on the California costs.

He has denied all allegations of “nonconsensual sexual activity” associated to the New York case and different claims made in opposition to him.

Defense requested for 5 years in prison

Illuzzi-Orbon on Wednesday referenced the submitted sentencing memo that she mentioned element extra accounts of victims of Weinstein’s abuse and present his lack of human empathy, selfishness, and a life rooted in criminality. One assistant instructed prosecutors Weinstein threatened to kill her and her whole household, Illuzzi-Orbon mentioned.

The prosecutor additionally described the glamorous life-style Weinstein lived as a large of the film business.

“He got drunk on the power,” Illuzzi-Orbon mentioned. “Young struggling dreamers were not real people to him.”

Illuzzi-Orbon learn a profile of Weinstein given to lodge staff in which they had been cautioned, “Do not go near the car. Do not speak at him. Do not look at him. Stay away.”

Illuzzi-Orbon additionally famous Weinstein’s vital authorized illustration, saying she thought his protection workforce made each cheap argument it ought to have and may have made on his behalf.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s workplace argued in an 11-page court docket submitting final week that Weinstein ought to obtain a sentence that “reflects the seriousness of defendant’s offenses.” He led a “lifetime of abuse towards others, sexual and otherwise,” prosecutors argued, and they highlighted three dozen uncharged incidents and accusations.

“Starting in the 1970s, he has trapped women into his exclusive control and assaulted or attempted to assault them,” Illuzzi-Orbon wrote in a letter.

Weinstein’s protection attorneys wrote in a sentencing letter that Weinstein’s private charitable giving, superior age, medical points and lack of a felony historical past ought to lead to a decrease sentence. They wrote that his life “has been destroyed” because the publication of an article in The New Yorker in October 2017 that alleged systemic abuse of ladies in the leisure business.

“His wife divorced him, he was fired from The Weinstein Company, and in short, he lost everything,” the attorneys wrote.

The attorneys additionally cited the “collateral consequences” he continues to face.

“Mr. Weinstein cannot walk outside without being heckled, he has lost his means to earn a living, simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media,” in accordance to the letter signed by attorneys Damon Cheronis, Rotunno and Aidala.