'This is a victory for all of us': Erika Rosenbaum empowered by Bill Cosby verdict
'It shows that there is justice coming,' Montreal actress Erika Rosenbaum says
Shrieks filled a Pennsylvania courtroom Thursday as Bill Cosby stood hearing the word: guilty.
The jury convicted Cosby, 80, of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand in a retrial.
The verdict came as a shock for many, including Canadian actress Erika Rosenbaum, who came forward last year with accusations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein.
Here is her conversation with The Current's guest host Duncan McCue:
How did you hear the news that Bill Cosby had been found guilty?
A headline caught my eye on the internet when I was checking email and social media, and I just burst into tears. I was absolutely overcome.
My reaction surprised me but I was at home with my children so I got it together and moved along with preparing a meal. But I was surprised to be surprised.
Why were you surprised?
Well, I mean this is the first real criminal consequence we've seen come out of the #MeToo movement. And it is incredibly significant for victims of sexual assault, for all victims, as Lili Bernard said.
It shows that there is justice coming and I just couldn't help but feel for the women who have been fighting this and waiting for justice for ... years. That's a lifetime for some people, and to imagine their moment was incredibly moving.
I understand you formed ties with some of the other women who came forward against Harvey Weinstein. What kind of conversations were you having yesterday?
I reached out to them right away. We have been incredibly supportive of one another. The survivor's sisterhood is indeed very strong and supporting one another has been hugely healing for all of us.
I wrote an email to them with a big thumbs up and a victory sign because this is a victory for all of us. And I got eight simultaneous emails back. They all reacted the same way. They were all incredibly relieved, incredibly excited and empowered by this justice finally being done.
In Bill Cosby's case with Andrea Constand, the first jury was a hung jury. What do you think led to a conviction this time?
I think there is a cultural shift that is happening this year. I think we're seeing it every day. The public knowledge of what has been going on has made a big difference. The media has played a huge part in carrying this story and keeping it relevant and in listening to us, and we have been encouraged by one another in coming forward.
I think going into the courts there was a different feeling, and so the rape myths that have been sort of demystified, I think, have changed the outcome.
What's the next chapter for you Erika Rosenbaum?
I'd like to keep supporting the women who are fighting this. I'd like to be as open as I can about my own experience. I think that every time I speak I give others permission to do the same. So I hope I get more opportunities to help others and shed a light on this so that it is no longer a major news story.
*This transcript was edited for clarity and length.*
Listen to the full conversation at the top of this page, which includes Caroline Heldman, an advocate for women who have been sexually assaulted, who was in the courtroom when the Bill Cosby verdict was announced.
This segment was produced by The Current's Jessica Linzey, Ines Colabrese and Bethlehem Mariam.