On Thursday, Feb. 23, Harvey Weinstein was sentenced in Los Angeles to 16 years in prison for rape. That’s on top of the 23-year sentence he is already serving in New York, but this moment was significant for one of the survivors, Jane Doe 1.
While justice was served for her, other sexual assault survivors saw their cases tossed out. That only empowered Jane Doe 1 to come forward and reveal who she is for the first time to The Hollywood Reporter: “I’m tired of hiding. I want my life back. I’m Evgeniya, I’ve been raped. This is my story.” Former model and actress Evgeniya Chernyshova is sharing her horrific tale with the convicted rapist in hopes of washing away the shame and humiliation she felt for years.
She thought staying anonymous would be the right thing for her and her two kids, but Chernyshova eventually realized it was an isolating experience. “I thought it was a good decision to protect my kids. But it was a horrible decision for myself because I’ve been cut off from everyone,” she explained. “It isn’t right to go through this hell alone.”
Chernyshova was in Los Angeles in 2013 for Oscar week when she encountered Weinstein at the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival. Despite their brief meeting, he managed to find out where she was staying in Beverly Hills and convinced the front desk to give out her room number — before long, he was knocking at her hotel door. “And that is the thing I have regretted for the last 10 years — that I did open this door,” she said.
It was in the bedroom and the bathroom where she was assaulted by Weinstein as she saw “something clicked, like a change in his eye.” Even though she was married at the time, she couldn’t convince the most powerful man in Hollywood to stop, and she kept her secret for years. The horrific moment affected her mental health, her marriage, and caused her to drink heavily in those subsequent years… until the #MeToo movement started a conversation with her then-16-year-old daughter, Maria.
Mother and daughter both shared heartbreaking secrets about their sexual assaults and that’s when they made a deal to report their cases and set themselves free. While not every Weinstein survivor got the same outcome as Chernyshova, she shared this moment with all of them. “I believe all of the victims who testified,” she concluded. “All of them. And I want to say this — this is not only my victory, this is our victory.”
Click here to see celebrities who have been accused of sexual assault.
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