Dozens of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct accusers will receive a nearly $19million settlement, the New York Attorney General’s office has announced.
A victims’ compensation fund of $18,875,000 will be created and distributed among dozens of accusers if approved by judges in federal courts. However, it’s not clear how many accusers will receive the payout.
In the agreement survivors will also be released from their confidentiality, non-disclosure, or non-disparagement agreements with the Weinstein Company and any former representatives of the company related to Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.
The settlement is an effort to resolve two lawsuits against Weinstein, who was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape and sentenced to 23 years in prison in March.
The settlement stems from a 2018 civil rights lawsuit filed by the New York AG’s office against the disgraced movie producer, his brother Robert Weinstein and the Weinstein companies at large for ‘egregious violations of New York’s civil rights, human rights, and business laws.’
That lawsuit accused Weinstein and his company of leading a hostile work environment.
The settlement would also end a separate class-action lawsuit brought in 2017 on behalf of nine women who accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault.
Under the plan the fund will be distributed among ‘women who experienced a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and gender-based discrimination while working at The Weinstein Company, as well as sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein,’ the attorney general’s office said.
‘Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company failed their female employees. After all the harassment, threats, and discrimination, their victims are finally receiving some justice,’ New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
‘This agreement is a win for every woman who has experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation by her employer,’ James said.
The agreement still has to be approved by the district court as well as the bankruptcy court presiding over the Weinstein Company’s bankruptcy case.
However, attorneys for six of Weinstein’s alleged victims disagree with the settlement, calling it a ‘sell out’ because Weinstein isn’t accepting responsibility or paying out of his own pocket.
‘The proposed settlement is a complete sellout of the Weinstein survivors and we are surprised that the Attorney General could somehow boast about a proposal that fails on so many different levels,’ attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer said to CNN.
‘We are completely astounded that the Attorney General is taking a victory lap for this unfair and inequitable proposal, and on behalf of our clients, we will be vigorously objecting in court,’ they added.
Weinstein fell from one of the most powerful names in Hollywood to one of the most disgraced.
In his four-week #MeToo trial in Manhattan, accusers unearthed how he abused his power, preyed on dozens of women over the course of three decades, often dangling the promise of a movie career in exchange for sex acts.
In the trial six woman shared how they were abused by Weinstein and in the end he was convicted for the sexual assault of former Project Runway production assistant Miriam Haleyi and the rape of former actress Jessica Mann.
Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 100 women, still faces trial on rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles.
Weinstein is currently serving out his sentence at Wende Correctional Facility in Erie County, New York.