Weinstein to settle with sexual assault accusers for $44 million
Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, who was accused of sexual misconduct by several women, has reportedly reached a tentative $44 million deal with his accusers and creditors. Weinstein denies sexually harassing or abusing over 75 women. The deal is yet to be signed and covers nearly all civil proceedings against Weinstein, including those in Canada and the United Kingdom. Here are all the details.
The deal, as per Adam Harris, a lawyer for studio co-founder Bob Weinstein, would "provide significant compensation to victims, creditors, and the estate and allow the parties to avoid years of costly, time-consuming and uncertain litigation on all sides." However, Harris cautioned that there is more work to be done. Additionally, any settlement would need to be approved by the court.
Over 15 lawsuits had been filed against Weinstein, alleging misconduct by him or his company. Alleged victims had filed a class action suit against Weinstein Co. in December 2017 for working as an organized crime group to cover-up the film producer's sexual misconduct. Additionally, the New York Attorney General's office had filed a civil suit suing Weinstein's company for gender discrimination in February 2018.
Weinstein, a catalyst for the #MeToo movement, will go on trial in Manhattan in September on five counts, including rape and sexual assault. Reportedly, the trial could last for five weeks. If convicted, the Hollywood producer could face life in prison.
Although the amount of the deal wasn't revealed in court, The Wall Street Journal reports that it allocates $30 million for the alleged victims, creditors and Weinstein Co.'s former employees, while the remaining $14 million would go to the legal fees for Weinstein Co. board members. Initially, the Attorney General's office had pushed for a $90 million settlement, before Weinstein Co. filed for bankruptcy.
In October 2017, a New York Times article detailed decades of sexual misconduct, perpetrated by Weinstein, who was among the most powerful people in Hollywood, having worked on several award-winning films. The article was followed by the emergence of several other allegations, made by popular actresses including Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek. Weinstein had issued an apology but denied the allegations.