HARVEY Weinstein said at his sentencing on Wednesday that he has "remorse" for the men who are suffering the consequences of the #MeToo movement after his fall from grace.
Weinstein, 67, was sentenced to 23 years in prison in Manhattan criminal court after being convicted last month of raping and sexually assaulting women.
He gave a rambling five-minute speech in which he said he regrets his actions against those who testified against him.
Weinstein said: “I have great remorse for all the men and women who have gone through this crisis in our country right now.”
The disgraced Hollywood media mogul said he's "confused" about his conviction and sentencing, saying he thinks other men are confused, too.
“I think about the thousands of men and women who are losing due process, and I’m worried about this country.”
He added: "This is not the right atmosphere in the United States of America."
"We are going through this crisis right now in this country. The movement basically started with me, now there are thousands of men who are being accused.”
More than 90 women, including Uma Thurman, Gwenyth Paltrow and Salma Hayek, have accused him of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The allegations launched #MeToo: the global movement to encourage women to come forward and hold powerful men accountable for their sexual misconduct.
Weinstein's conviction was a landmark case for #MeToo, and was the first criminal fallout from the allegations he used his status to lure and assault women.
The Oscar-winning producer said Wednesday of his remorse: "I feel it deeply in my heart. I will spend my time really caring and really trying to be a better person."
To add to Weinstein's issues, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said it had begun the process of extraditing him to California to face sexual assault charges there.
"No arraignment date has been set. Once a date has been set, our office will notify the public," Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey told The Sun.
Weinstein faced a minimum of five years in prison, for which his lawyers begged, and a maximum of 29.
In the courtroom sat accusers Annabella Sciorra, Tarale Wulff, Miriam Haley and Lauren Young, some of whom gave victim statements.
In New York, Haley confronted Weinstein in court this morning, and broke down into tears talking about the 2006 attack that's scarred her.
She said it made her rethink her career in entertainment and has left her feeling paranoid.
Haley said she avoids dating because she doesn't want to hurt people, have them feel embarrassed or distance themselves when they find out what happened to her.
“I believe that if Harvey Weinstein was not convicted by this jury, it would happen again and again and again,” Haley said.
Jessica Mann, a once-aspiring actress Weinstein was convicted of raping in 2013 said: “It takes a very special kind of evil to exploit connections to leverage rape."
“I had to endure his penis raping me on his time,” Mann said. “I wish I had been able to fight him while he raped me.”
She said she was a victim of “rape paralysis” caused by someone “who had every advantage over me."
Mann added: “Rape is not just one moment of penetration. It is forever.”
“I ask you to give me the gift of knowing exactly where Harvey is at all times.”
Four other women who testified against Weinstein say side-by-side in the courtroom audience, but weren't allowed to speak during the hearing, per state law.
Weinstein was convicted on February 24 of first-degree criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape.
He has maintained his innocence and claims all of his sexual activity has been consensual.
Prosecutors didn't ask for a certain number of years in prison for Weinstein, but said that he deserves severe punishment to account for allegations dating to the 1970s that didn’t lead to criminal charges.
He will now be transferred from New York City's jail system to the state prison system and has been ordered to register as a sex offender.
During his New York sentencing, Weinstein downplayed his influence in Hollywood by saying he "wasn't about power," but "was about making great movies."
"He told the court he "had no great powers in this industry" and said Miramax, a company he co-founded, "at the height of its fame was a small firm."
Weinstein said if we could "do things over," he would "care less about the movies and more about my children and family."
Cy Vance, the Manhattan District Attorney, said: “We thank the court for imposing a sentence that puts sexual predators and abusive partners in all segments of society on notice."
"Harvey Weinstein deployed nothing less than an army of spies to keep them silent. But they refused to be silent, and they were heard."
Their words took down a predator and put him behind bars, and gave hope to survivors of sexual violence all across the world.”
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