Disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein has reached a tentative $25 million settlement with dozens of women that have accused him of sexual misconduct, the New York Times reports.
The proposed deal would resolve almost all of the civil cases brought against the Hollywood heavyweight, but would not affect next month’s criminal proceedings in New York City that could still see Weinstein spend the rest of his life behind bars. Weinstein is scheduled to go on trial early next month for charges of sexual assault involving two women.
Under the reported terms of the proposed settlement, Weinstein would not have to admit fault and would not be held personally liable for the settlement payment. The settlement would be paid instead by insurance companies for the Weinstein Company. “Because the business is in bankruptcy proceedings, the women have had to make their claims along with its creditors,” the Times reports. “The payout to the accusers would be part of an overall $47 million settlement intended to close out the company’s obligations, according to a half-dozen lawyers, some of whom spoke about the proposed terms on the condition of anonymity.”
Here’s more on the terms of the deal from the Times:
More than $12 million—a quarter of the overall settlement package—would go toward some, but not all, legal costs for Mr. Weinstein; his brother, Bob; and other former members of their company’s board, the lawyers said. The board members would be insulated from future liability, and the alleged victims would drop their claims against Mr. Weinstein and other executives… Even if the proposed deal goes through, its terms would come with uncertainty. Eighteen of the alleged victims would split $6.2 million, with no individual getting more than $500,000. A separate pot of money, $18.5 million, would be set aside for those who were part of a class-action case, the New York attorney general’s suit and any future claimants, with a court-appointed monitor allocating payments based on the severity of the harm alleged.
The deal is still contingent on approval of an official settlement agreement that will require sign off by two judges, including one overseeing the company’s bankruptcy proceedings. Not all of the women who have filed suit are reported to support the deal, some seeing the settlement as insufficient punishment for an alleged abuser, and the objections by these women could still unravel the final agreement.
The civil suit has taken on heightened importance over the past two years following disturbing revelations about Weinstein because despite the numerous instances of alleged sexual misconduct, the legal route to punish the producer has been difficult to clear. “The narrow scope of Mr. Weinstein’s upcoming criminal trial only heightens the significance of the civil settlement, likely to be the only legal recourse for many of the women who said he abused them,” according to the Times. “Because some alleged victims have declined to participate in a criminal trial, or have complained of offenses that are not criminal or fall outside the statute of limitations, the court case in New York centers on just two people.”