Celebrity News February 27, 2020
Harvey Weinstein Accuser Ambra Gutierrez Reacts to His Conviction
“Extra” sat down with Ambra Gutierrez, the Italian model who accused Harvey Weinstein of groping her in 2015, only to see the Manhattan DA decline to press charges.
Now, she is speaking out about Weinstein's conviction.
This week, Weinstein was found guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. He was convicted on two of the five charges against him, but was found not guilty on two counts of predatory sexual assault and of rape in the first degree.
Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty on Two of Five Charges in Sexual Assault CaseView Story
Ambra said she was pleased with the outcome, asserting, “It's absolutely what I wanted to happen.”
After Weinstein allegedly assaulted Gutierrez in his Tribeca office in 2015, she reported it. During a sting operation, the NYPD secretly recorded Weinstein apologizing to her and trying to lure her into his hotel room. DA Cy Vance Jr. — who is currently being celebrated for his role in getting justice for some of the Weinstein's victims — declined to prosecute Gutierrez's case.
“Cy Vance should resign," Gutierrez told "Extra." She went on to say, "It's not just about me, there are a lot of other cases that he handled wrongly… I absolutely lost everything back in 2015. Nobody else should be going through that.”
In 2017, Vance defended his decision not to prosecute Weinstein, telling The New York Times, “Our best lawyers looked at the case. I, like they, was very disturbed by the contents of the tape. It's obviously sickening. But at the end of the day we operate in a courtroom of law, not the court of public opinion, and our sex crime prosecutors made a determination that this was not going to be a provable case.”
Ambra emphasized, “I was the first and I think maybe the only one going to the police on Harvey Weinstein [in 2015]. That caused me to be shamed in the media and portrayed as someone I wasn't and destroyed my life. My job is all about your reputation… I was portrayed as a blackmailer and someone who wanted to be famous… The story ended with the DA not prosecuting him, so afterwards I had to leave New York. I couldn't work, I couldn't do anything I dreamed of for two years.”
“After the assault that was traumatizing, I was let down again by the system. The system failed me,” Gutierrez added.
Ambra also felt that Harvey tried to take her down, saying, “I remember back in that period of time, it started with having positive media talking about the situation, that a model spoke out on Harvey Weinstein. It became that I was a prostitute and was trying to blackmail him, asking for a movie role — it was all lies.”
Gutierrez was not asked to be a part of Weinstein's New York trial, but her voice will be heard during his upcoming L.A. trial. “I'll be a witness in the L.A. trial, but I was surprised that I wasn't included in the New York [trial] 'cause I think my proof, the recordings that I managed to get back in 2015, are very important for this case.”
As for why she wasn't asked to testify, Gutierrez commented, “I can't imagine what putting me in that would mean, saying that they made a mistake back in 2015, and they tried to avoid that.”
Ambra is now taking her pain and turning it into something positive. She said, “I know I have a lot of work to do, and everything is in place… I have an organization that I am collaborating with to try and pass a bill that is called the Adult Survivors Act."
ASA would allow any survivor of sexual abuse who is age 18+ a one-year "look-back window," during which they could sue their abuser in civil court — even if the statute of limitations had expired.
Will Gutierrez sue Weinstein in civil court? She answered, “I always lead by example, so we'll see if I need to do it.”
Weinstein has steadfastly denied all of the allegations against him, maintaining that all sexual encounters in which he was involved were consensual.