The arrest ended months of speculation over whether the famed producer would face criminal charges following decades of alleged sexual misconduct. McGowan has been arguably the most vocal of Weinstein's alleged victims; she has publicly accused him of rape. Weinstein raised his eyebrows as he heard it.
Although Weinstein didn't enter a plea today, his lawyer, Ben Brafman, says, "Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone". His attorney told reporters outside court that Weinstein meant to plead not guilty to all four charges announced Friday.
In an earlier interview with ABC's Amy Robach, McGowan she wanted to see Weinstein behind bars because "we were sentenced to a prison, we were sentenced to years of it before anybody believed us". "It's just the beginning of that process and if we can see this through to the end, I hope we emerge victorious".
"My job is not to defend behaviour", he said.
Judge Kevin McGrath released Weinstein on $1m bail, with constant electronic monitoring and a ban on traveling beyond NY and the neighbouring state of CT. He left through a courthouse back door less than three hours after his arrest.
Mr Weinstein was released on a $1m bail bond. A grand jury has reportedly been hearing evidence in the case for several weeks.
Asia Argento, one of the first actresses to come forward and accuse the producer of rape in an explosive New Yorker feature penned by Ronan Farrow last fall, tweeted, "What took you so long, Harvey?" Asked "what can you say?" he mildly shook his head and softly said "no". He carried thick books under his right arm, including what appeared to be biographies of Broadway musical legends Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, and Elia Kazan, the director of such classic Hollywood films as "On the Waterfront".
"It's about time. Elated and so proud to stand next to the fearless women & men who are creating a new normal", she wrote.
"This is an emotional moment. We, the women, finally have real hope for justice". In March, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the extraordinary step of ordering the state's attorney general to investigate whether Vance acted properly in 2015 when he decided not to prosecute Weinstein over a previous allegation of unwanted groping, made by an Italian model.
Police in Los Angeles and London have also been investigating reports filed against Weinstein by multiple women. Police officials said the arrest and charges stemmed from a joint investigation between the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney's office. As Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to police, the world's media got an unobstructed view of the "perp walk".
Miramax, the company he founded with his brother, Bob, in 1979 helped reinvent independent cinema with hits like "Pulp Fiction" and "Shakespeare in Love".
But there were rumors in Hollywood for years about Weinstein's pursuits of young actresses.
The police passed the case to prosecutors.
It marked the first criminal case against Weinstein, coming seven months after the allegations destroyed his career and set off a national reckoning over sexual misconduct known as the #MeToo movement.
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein arrives at the 1st Precinct in Lower Manhattan on Friday. On Thursday US film star Morgan Freeman apologised following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Major figures in media and politics have lost their jobs or had their reputations tarnished by allegations that they subjected women to unwanted advances or outright assaults.