NEW YORK • "We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you."
Those were the first words actress Rose McGowan tweeted on Friday morning after disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was arrested in New York City on charges that he raped one woman and forced another to perform oral sex.
After turning himself in, the multimillionaire behind a slew of award-winning Hollywood films was quickly freed after posting cash bail of US$1 million (S$1.34 million).
Weinstein said nothing during the hearing, standing with his back to a roomful of reporters. He was not required to enter a plea because he was arrested on a criminal complaint, rather than an indictment. But after the hearing, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said his client intended to plead not guilty.
McGowan was one of the first women to come forward publicly last autumn about Weinstein's history of sexual misconduct, setting off a tidal wave of awareness and activism, and prompting the #MeToo movement. She also told ABC's Good Morning America on Friday that she felt shocked by the arrest.
"I have to admit I didn't think I would see the day that he would have handcuffs on him," she said.
FACE THE MUSIC
We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you.
ACTRESS ROSE MCGOWAN, one of the first women to go public last autumn about Weinstein's history of sexual misconduct.
This moves from the court of public opinion into an actual courtroom. That is super cathartic for a bunch of the survivors, or even survivors who are not necessarily victimised by him.
MS TARANA BURKE, founder of the #MeToo movement against sexual violence, to Variety magazine.
I hope it sends a message to men who are still walking around thinking that they can get away with it - that it can catch up.
MS DREW DIXON, who was one of three women who accused music mogul Russell Simmons of rape.
"I have a visceral need for him to have handcuffs on."
News of his arrest was followed by an onslaught of reactions on Twitter, including from his accusers.
"What took you so long Harvey?" said Italian actress Asia Argento, who suggested the video of Weinstein's very public arrest would be the only movie he would be remembered for.
Annabella Sciorra and Mira Sorvino, both actresses and accusers, shared their anticipation before the arrest. "Anyone knows where I can get front-row seats?!" Sciorra wrote.
Sorvino tweeted a link to an article about Weinstein and added the hashtag #Justice.
Inside and outside the Manhattan courtroom on Friday, the proceedings drew a crowd that wanted to witness this months-in-the-making moment.
Ms Meagan Taylor, who is in her 40s and works in the non-profit sector in Boston, stopped outside the courthouse to watch as members of the news media prepared for a statement by Weinstein's lawyer.
"I think this is a historic day - for women, for justice, for equality," she said.
"Probably 99 per cent of women, at least my age, have been in a situation where they have felt uncomfortable due to a man in power," she said.
For those who have spoken out about their own experiences with misconduct, the day carried many meanings.
Ms Drew Dixon, who was one of three women who accused music mogul Russell Simmons of rape in a December report in The New York Times, said the news that Weinstein would be arrested was unexpectedly unsettling.
"I started shaking," she said in a phone interview on Friday morning. "I was stunned that it had escalated to something with real legal consequences for him.
"It just reminded me of the dark experience that I had, that I had to try to compartmentalise."
Weinstein's appearance, in handcuffs, stripped of the swagger he once possessed, had another effect on her.
"This was really a glimmer of hope that I don't even allow myself to acknowledge exists," she said. "I hope that it sends a message to men who are still walking around thinking that they can get away with it - that it can catch up."