Weinstein accuser Haleyi grateful to be ‘heard and believed’

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Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein leaves a Manhattan courthouse during his rape trial, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the women Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting said Tuesday that the verdict made her feel grateful to be “heard and believed.”

“It was just a huge relief. It was a huge relief that the jury got it,” Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant who accused Weinstein of forcing oral sex on her in 2006, said on “CBS This Morning.”

“I just think that we’re being educated about the reality of sexual assault and sexual assault victims,” she said. “It’s not always just a stranger. It’s very often somebody that the person knows, and with that comes an entire other layer of processing.”

Weinstein faces a possible sentence of five to 29 years after a Manhattan jury convicted him of sexually assaulting Haleyi and raping an aspiring actress in 2013. He was acquitted of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

Attorneys for Weinstein, who has maintained that any sex between him and his accusers was consensual, said they would appeal.

The former Hollywood powerhouse, who claims to suffer from health problems including a bad back, was taken to a jail unit at Bellevue Hospital on Monday to be checked out for heart palpitations and high blood pressure. Sentencing was set for March 11.

Asked about Weinstein on Tuesday, President Donald Trump called the disgraced producer’s conviction a “great victory” for women that “sends a very strong message.”

“He was a person I didn’t like,” Trump told reporters during a news conference in India. “The people that liked him were the Democrats. Michelle Obama loved him. Loved him. Hillary Clinton loved him.”

Trump himself stands accused of sexual misconduct, including a rape allegation, by more than a dozen women when he was a private citizen. He has denied the allegations and has not been charged in any of the alleged sexual assaults.

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