We know what became of the men, the alleged perpetrators, swept aside in the wake of accusations against Harvey Weinstein in October 2017. But what happened to the courageous people whose harrowing accounts prompted the global #MeToo movement?
Here, eight women and men speak, in their own words, about what came after they revealed their long-secret stories in The New York Times. There was emotional fallout; careers were on the line. Yet there were few regrets. Instead, many were emboldened: At last, their voices matter.


She became the first actress to go on the record about Harvey Weinstein, in the article on October 5 in The Times that broke the story of allegations of his sexual abuse of women. Judd, along with the reporters, were uncertain of what the reaction would be.
Eight months later, Judd has received waves of accolades and thanks. She is still busy with acting. But her longtime role as an activist has expanded. In April, Judd filed a lawsuit against Weinstein over the earnings she lost when Weinstein, whose unwanted advances she had refused, allegedly told Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson that she was impossible to work with. Weinstein has previously denied trying to derail Judd’s career.
Judd has also been flooded with queries from survivors of assault and abuse. To address their common questions and concerns, she wrote an open letter that she read at a Time’s Up event recently. “It was not our birthright to be sexually harassed or assaulted or raped,” she wrote. “Healing is our birthright.”

As told to Jodi Kantor:

“The first two emails I received on October 5 were from executive assistants from the heads of studios. I thought that was very telling because they were women who worked for men who were gatekeepers. They were the first and the quickest to send me notes of thanks, support and admiration. As far as I knew that could have been the end of it, the validation.
Turns out it was just the beginning. People passed me notes on aeroplanes thanking me. Men and women. I actually just reread three notes that I kept on my bedside table. The themes are similar: thank you so much, I’ve had my own experiences with harassment and sexual assault, you’ve been so brave, you made it easier for me.
One woman was on her way to her sister’s college graduation. The sister was graduating with her rapist. On one flight, I had my Time’s Up T-shirt on, and when I got off the aeroplane people had lined up to thank me.
[On her lawsuit] Sexual harassment in the workplace damages economic opportunity. The power dynamics at play are revealed in a worker’s trajectory and in her paycheck. Being able to have the legal basis for remedy is crucial. The promotion that doesn’t materialise, the shift that’s reassigned, the opportunities for advantageous overtime ... those are all ways that women are punished. Bringing that to light and having economic and legal remedy is an integral part of the strategy of moving the American work force forward.
A few months ago, I was driving in rural Tennessee, listening to a report on #MeToo in the Russian Parliament. I had such wonder, knowing that in some way it started with our conversation. I did what I did because it was the right thing to do and I trusted that things would fall into place.
Now I want joyfully to shout from the rooftops, everyone come forward, everyone come forward. Everyone has to make their decisions, but I think we can safely say millions of others are here to offer support and hope. Nobody can do it for me, but I don’t have to do it alone.”


The actress and entrepreneur was known as the “first lady of Miramax” for her career-making and Oscar-winning performances in Harvey Weinstein’s films in the 1990s. In an article in October 2017, Paltrow described how she was expected to keep Weinstein’s unwanted advances a secret. Months later, she described her reaction to his arrest.

As told to Jodi Kantor:

“I still feel like I haven’t processed it. I’m still completely in shock. I grew up in a world where these kinds of systems remained intact. To see somebody like Harvey Weinstein, who in my professional world was omnipotent and the person who held so much of my career in his hands, in handcuffs ... it is just stunning to me.
This is a system that has existed for thousands of years, and now you cannot behave that way. The psychological implications for those of us who have been exploited by men in power are so much to process, because we’ve built our identities and defence systems and strength out of protecting ourselves against this kind of system. For a mother of a 14-year-old girl, it’s overwhelming to know we’re living in a culture where ramifications exist for this kind of thing.
There’s a veil of shame that’s been lifted off this whole thing. There’s this amazing feeling of knit-togetherness in the female community. [Many] women don’t have anything to leverage to protect themselves. That’s why it felt so urgent and upsetting and I felt naive for not having gone through the mental exercise of postulating what the version was for a single woman trying to make ends meet.”


The entrepreneur described in a June 2017 Times article how an investor named Justin Caldbeck, who had pledged to invest $25,000 (Dh91,813) of his own money in her first start-up, sent her harassing messages, groped her and tried to coerce her into a sexual relationship. In that article she said, “I felt like I had to tolerate it because this is the cost of being a non-white female founder.”
Caldbeck left his investment firm, Binary Capital, after multiple harassment allegations. He declined to comment on the record to The Times, but he publicly apologised and thanked women who had accused him of harassment for providing “a sobering look into my own character.”

As told to Katie Benner:

“One of the things that made my decision to share the story incredibly complicated was that I was literally just weeks away from having my new company funded, and most people don’t get second chances, or even have the courage or the appetite to want to take that amount of risk again. And so here I was on the verge of getting my big second chance and what was I going to do? I was going to run straight at something that was just saturated with reputational risks for myself.
It’s been about 10 1/2 months now, and I’m finally for the first time starting to come around and understand the role that I was able to play.
Now I walk around being able to look people in the eye and acknowledge a sincere compliment. A few days, weeks and even months after these stories were written I carried a lot of shamefulness around. I couldn’t have predicted that it would take this long. My voice and my story helped to ignite what became this global cause and movement, and it took on such a life of its own that I really didn’t have time to breathe, or think about it, or come up for air.
In my case, there was really overwhelming evidence and whether I knew it at the time, I would be able to eventually do something with all of the text messages, the emails, the voice messages.
I was sure glad that I had that paper trail because it made me realise as I looked back to see that yeah, what I had gone through was not just in my head.”


In March, this model told The Times about allegedly being assaulted by photographer Mario Testino one evening in California in 2015. He was part of a second wave of accusers who came forward after a January report in The Times about the way Testino and another photographer, Bruce Weber, used their positions as gatekeepers of the fashion industry to harass models and assistants, and Testino’s lawyers attacked the characters of the men who initially spoke out. Weber denied the charges and in the March article, Testino said, “I continue to deny any wrongdoing.”

As told to Vanessa Friedman:

“I was definitely stressing when this thing was coming out. I was concerned my family would see it. It feels kind of shameful, like I let my dad down or something. I was not sleeping well. I have bad sleeping habits anyway, so it didn’t help. There’s been a lot of insecurities with the whole process.
The general consensus I’m seeing with everyone is they don’t want to pry into it. They don’t want to make me uncomfortable with things I’m not comfortable disclosing to them. I talked to one of my friends before I talked to you and she was really supportive. She felt really bad in a good way. She just wouldn’t want that to happen to anybody and she let me know she was really happy I was talking about this and coming out with this, because if we’re not standing together these same kind of people are going to keep doing what they are doing over and over.
The thing that’s most weird for me is that I don’t think it’s garnered enough attention of famous people. People who claim to be activists in the community and are part of the #MeToo movement still associate with this person. I think it’s really weird. Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t believe it. I’m not sure.”


This music journalist and promoter was one of three women who said music mogul Russell Simmons raped her in his Manhattan apartment. (Simmons has denied these allegations.) In the days leading up to the publication of The Times investigation, Sallie grew increasingly anxious about how Simmons might respond. On December 13, the day the story was published, she was admitted to an emergency room; her blood pressure had skyrocketed.
Sallie soon recovered, but she could not bring herself to read the published article for days. Given the risk to her health, Sallie’s family did not want her to participate in another interview. Still, she said that she felt validated by speaking out and by the impact that her story had. She gave us permission to share the conversations. This is an excerpt from a text message Sallie sent in January.

As told to Melena Ryzik:

“I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. I was just contacted by a lady that I know. She told me she was raped 6 months ago. Because of her reading my story, she had the strength to report him to the police. For the rest of my life... Thank you!”


A one-time music executive at Def Jam and Arista Records, Dixon worked with Mary J. Blige, Lauryn Hill, Santana and Aretha Franklin. In a December 2017 report in The Times, she said music mogul Russell Simmons raped her at his downtown Manhattan apartment in 1995, after months of aggressive sexual harassment in and out of the Def Jam office. (Simmons, who has been accused of rape by multiple women, has denied all instances of nonconsensual sex.)
Dixon said she was later sexually harassed repeatedly while working under another record label boss, L.A. Reid, subsequently driving her from the music industry. Reid did not respond directly to Dixon’s claims, but apologised generally in a statement for ever saying “anything capable of being misinterpreted.”

As told to Joe Coscarelli:

“The day that story was posted online was one of the most surreal moments of my life.
It was like a bomb going off.
These are incredibly powerful men. They’re cultural icons, they’re business icons. So just the idea that I was kicking the hornet’s nest with these two really huge people, I didn’t know what was going to happen.
At the very same time, the second I read it, I felt relief because I was done:However scary the reaction and fallout is — even however hard this is for my family to process — I am done carrying this heavy load. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I didn’t know how heavy it was until I put it down.
It’s very hard as a black woman to call out powerful black men because we have no heroes to spare. We are always, still, fighting this uphill battle, always trying to overcome this myth of the predatory black man. So the last thing you want to do is contribute to that in any way. It’s complicated as a black woman — do you take it for the team? Which is what I did for 22 years. Or do you insist that you, too, deserve dignity, physical safety and respect? That was very hard for me and it’s literally why I kept the secret for all these years. I didn’t want to tear down a black man, let alone two. But what they did was wrong.
On the other hand, I didn’t want black women to be left out of the #MeToo moment. And I did not want to miss this opportunity to be heard and believed.
I would say that it certainly has been an impetus for me to make music again. It’s a huge source of joy and personal satisfaction for me. And I think I’m good at it. So it’s been a loss for me not to be able to make records. Because of the article I’ve been contacted by aspiring artists, one of whom I’m signing to a label I am setting up specifically to make her record. That would not have happened if I hadn’t resurfaced and reminded myself — and have others reminded of — what I do.”


She was the only woman who spoke publicly about her sexual harassment allegations against Bill O’Reilly in the April 2017 investigation in The Times, which exposed millions of dollars of colonies involving that former Fox News host and led to his ouster from the network. (Six other women had been locked into ironclad confidentiality agreements totalling $45 million.)
Walsh, who had been a guest on The O’Reilly Factor, said O’Reilly broke his promise to make her a contributor after she declined an invitation to his hotel suite in 2013. O’Reilly has vehemently denied the allegations of sexual harassment against him. Walsh now works as an adjunct professor of psychology at California State University, Channel Islands, and as a radio host for KFI AM 640 with iHeartMedia.

As told to Emily Steel:

“The afternoon The New York Times posted the article with my photo on the front page, I received a single private message on Twitter from Gretchen Carlson telling me she believed me. I exhaled, feeling that I wasn’t alone. Next came a threatening letter from O’Reilly’s attorneys and I was flat-out frozen with fear again. Would these powerful men try to sue me? Would they push my children and I into poverty under the strain of legal defence fees?
I was stunned by positive messages that came at me on social media. The best part is that I received an enormous amount of support from men. They told me awful stories of having to watch lecherous men manipulate women and because of the male code or their rank, they were powerless to complain.
Although I worried that this would hurt my business (I work in radio and sponsors are everything), somehow this increased my credibility. Suddenly all kinds of ethical companies wanted me to represent their brands.”


He played principal bass in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for more than three decades. In a December 2017 report in The Times, he said that he had been sexually abused at the age of 17 by conductor James Levine, who was on the faculty of the residential summer program where Brown was studying. His was one of several accusations that prompted the Metropolitan Opera, where Levine had been music director for four decades, to open an investigation into Levine’s behaviour and then to fire him. Levine has denied the accusations and is suing the Met.

As told to Michael Cooper:

“Almost all the responses I got were supportive. There were family members who rallied around me, some wanting to crush the abuser. I did get a sense at times that there were those that just couldn’t deal with so much truth, they needed to call it something else — like isn’t there something we can blame him for? After all, so many more people gleaned satisfaction from Levine’s artistry than his decadent impulsiveness to humiliate and destroy others; couldn’t I have been satisfied being a sacrificial lamb?
Some who wrote me said they had been abused at home or elsewhere, the article motivating them to want to share their own experiences. I have gained a lot of satisfaction from the grown men that have come up to me, resonating, because men need so badly to do just that — resonate together, to express their feelings.
Though the article provided a deep sense of relief and brought more closure to the abuse I went through, it has in the meantime opened up other issues that were exacerbated by the abuse, though not directly related. Issues such as my own sense of confidence and why I was one of the ones chosen.
The aftermath has provided a new search, one where I am learning to forgive myself for all that I have not accomplished and instead be thankful for what I have done.”