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How one of Harvey Weinstein's first accusers is fighting back and empowering others

Model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez helped the NYPD set up a sting operation against Harvey Weinstein, but the district attorney didn't press charges. She overcame the backlash and now wants to empower others to speak out against sexual harassment.

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 9:31 PM
Updated: Mar 9, 2020 9:31 PM

Model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, one of the first women to accuse former producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, is working with a group to try to protect other models from similar situations and violations they may encounter in their work.

"Models have to feel safer and understand that they are in a position of power when they speak right now and not to be afraid, especially when there is an organization like Model Alliance that can support them in any type of problem that they might face that could be sexual harassment, abuse or financial transparency with agencies," Gutierrez told CNN in a recent interview.

In 2015, Gutierrez filed a sexual abuse complaint with the New York Police Department against Weinstein, stating that he groped her during a meeting. The next day, The New York Police Department's Special Victims Division asked her to wear a recording device. In the recording, Weinstein makes potentially incriminating comments to Gutierrez, apologizing for touching her breast.

Despite the recording, New York prosecutors cited a lack of evidence in the case and declined to prosecute. Gutierrez later reached an undisclosed settlement with Weinstein.

The New Yorker published the audio recording from the police sting in 2017. At the time representatives for Weinstein said they had no comment on the audio tape.

Gutierrez has since become a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement. She's partnered with the nonprofit Model Alliance, founded by model and filmmaker Sara Ziff, an organization working to make structural changes in the fashion industry to combat sexual harassment, among other goals.

The group has also created a RESPECT program, which Ziff described as "a private sector initiative that calls on companies to sign legally binding agreements to uphold an enforceable code of conduct."

"Understandably, there's a lot of fear in the industry about speaking out about abuse, whether it's economic issues, or sexual harassment or assault and at the moment there really aren't proper channels for filing complaints and a lot of people don't even know their rights," Ziff said.

Weinstein was convicted in February of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree involving one woman and rape in the third degree involving another. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 11 and could face 25 years behind bars. Weinstein maintains his innocence.

Following the initial police report Gutierrez filed against Weinstein in 2015, she said she spiraled into "a very bad depression."

"The negative coverage impacted me very much. I wasn't welcomed into restaurants, into places that I would socialize with my friends here in New York," Gutierrez recalled. "Let's say that mentally, physically I was destroyed and of course, reputation wise."

But Gutierrez said she's now stronger for the experience.

"I think that dedicating myself to helping others helped me a lot through what I was feeling and what I was thinking at the time," Gutierrez said. "My hope is to inspire other women to speak, to see what I've been through and to understand that there [can be a] positive outcome."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333180

Reported Deaths: 7502
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22901279
Hinds22780438
Harrison19569326
Rankin14851287
Jackson14342251
Madison10692227
Lee10437179
Jones8746169
Forrest8210157
Lauderdale7561243
Lowndes6790150
Lamar669688
Lafayette6459124
Washington5516139
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Marshall4654106
Warren4640127
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Monroe4255137
Union425379
Neshoba4182180
Lincoln4098115
Hancock405088
Leflore3565125
Pike3530112
Tate349588
Alcorn343974
Sunflower343093
Adams333387
Scott331775
Yazoo331173
Simpson314890
Copiah313867
Itawamba310180
Coahoma308785
Tippah298868
Prentiss292963
Covington282483
Marion279580
Leake278475
Wayne270743
Grenada266388
George261651
Newton256664
Tishomingo236869
Winston235584
Jasper226148
Attala220873
Chickasaw216360
Stone210237
Holmes195674
Clay192254
Clarke182080
Tallahatchie181742
Calhoun177532
Smith175935
Yalobusha169440
Walthall141548
Lawrence137726
Greene135734
Amite132843
Noxubee131635
Perry131038
Montgomery130944
Carroll124531
Webster117532
Jefferson Davis113334
Tunica111127
Benton104625
Claiborne104331
Kemper100729
Humphreys99133
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw81319
Wilkinson74632
Jefferson69728
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 570667

Reported Deaths: 11483
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson834821584
Mobile45819855
Madison36785532
Tuscaloosa26757465
Shelby26612255
Montgomery25739624
Baldwin23810325
Lee16801181
Calhoun15130332
Morgan14941289
Etowah14662368
Marshall12806235
Houston11515292
Elmore10654217
St. Clair10521251
Limestone10472158
Cullman10257204
Lauderdale9991253
DeKalb9298191
Talladega8739187
Walker7594286
Autauga7419113
Jackson7269117
Blount7184139
Colbert6583142
Coffee6045131
Dale5326117
Russell465842
Chilton4645117
Covington4579125
Franklin444381
Tallapoosa4379157
Escambia420082
Chambers3852125
Dallas3688163
Clarke364462
Marion3380106
Pike324879
Lawrence3192101
Winston291072
Bibb280165
Geneva271583
Marengo258567
Barbour243461
Pickens239162
Butler236172
Hale231878
Fayette224564
Henry205145
Randolph194944
Cherokee193948
Monroe192141
Washington177139
Macon167552
Crenshaw164458
Clay162559
Cleburne159145
Lamar149538
Lowndes144354
Wilcox129231
Bullock125642
Conecuh118130
Coosa116029
Perry109928
Sumter108032
Greene97836
Choctaw63825
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