Harvey Weinstein, the powerful movie mogul exposed for sexual misconduct and brought down by the #MeToo movement, has reached a tentative $44 million deal with his alleged victims, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
“For the first time, as of yesterday…we now have an economic agreement in principle that is supported by the plaintiffs, the [New York attorney general’s] office, the defendants, and all of the insurers,” a lawyer for Weinstein Company co-founder Bob Weinstein said to a judge Thursday, according to the Journal. The New York attorney general’s office sued both Weinstein brothers last year for violating city and state laws dealing with gender discrimination and sexual harassment and abuse.
But the settlement has not been finalized, and it’s not entirely clear if it would resolve all civil cases against Weinstein. More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Some of those allegations involve sexual assault, a criminal matter, but many of the allegations deal with sexual harassment, an issue for the civil courts.
The settlement would include $30 million for the plaintiffs—alleged victims, former Weinstein employees, and creditors that did business with the company before it filed for bankruptcy last year. The remaining money, which comes primarily from insurance policies held by the studio and others, would largely go toward legal fees. The settlement would fall far short of the amount initially proposed to compensate alleged victims. When an investment firm drafted a plan to buy the Weinstein Company’s assets—in a deal that fell apart at the last second in March 2018—it announced it would create a victims’ fund worth up to $90 million.
Some of the women have alleged that Weinstein’s business associates, including those on the company’s board, aided or covered for Weinstein’s misconduct. Many of the lawsuits name the associates as defendants, but in the past few months, federal judges have dismissed some of the claims against them.
Weinstein still faces criminal prosecution in New York over allegations of rape and other sex crimes and will stand trial in the fall, having pleaded not guilty to the charges. Weinstein has denied all allegations.
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