Weinstein accuser breaks silence to push for consent law as former producer seeks new trial

National News

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — One of the women who helped bring down Harvey Weinstein spoke out for the first time since his 2020 conviction Thursday.

Jessica Mann was one of two accusers in the case against Weinstein which sent him to prison for 23 years after he was found guilty of raping Mann and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman in 2020.

Mann never spoke publicly after the trial, but recently sat down for an exclusive interview with NewsNation to tell her story as she reemerges into public life to push for tougher consent laws.

“I made a commitment in my victim impact statement to show other survivors what is possible in recovery post-trauma and how to have recovery,” Mann told Rich McHugh. “I think it’s time.”

Mann said after a year of silence after Weinstein’s conviction, she’s deciding to speak out publicly as part of her work to get a law defining consent on the books in New York.

“In the penal code right now, there’s no law that defines consent,” Mann explained. “For example, [in] my trial, the jury asked the judge to define consent and all he could say was, ‘use your common sense.'”

Weinstein asked a New York state appeals court to throw out his conviction for sexual assault and rape and grant a new trial last week, saying the trial judge made several errors that denied him an impartial jury.

Even if Weinstein’s conviction was thrown out, he was also indicted on additional sexual assault charges in California Monday and faces five charges including forcible rape in Los Angeles involving victims from 2004 to 2013.

Weinstein has denied any nonconsensual sexual encounters.

A bill Mann is supporting was proposed in New York last week and defines consent as a freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement obtained without the use of “malice such as forcible compulsion, duress, coercion, deception, fraud, concealment or artifice.”

Mann said the legislation would shift the burden away from victims by providing a clearer standard.

“Where do we go post ‘Me Too?’ We go to a world that defines consent,” Mann said. “It doesn’t matter the situation; if it’s a business agreement, if it’s a sexual situation, if it’s a medical procedure, your consent matters.”

You can watch the Rich McHugh’s full interview with Jessica Mann on NewsNationNow.com.

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