Disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein is trying to settle lawsuits from multiple women who have accused him of a range of predatory sexual misconduct. The Wall Street Journal reports he, along with "his former film studio’s board members and the New York attorney general’s office have reached a tentative $44 million deal to resolve lawsuits and compensate alleged victims of the Hollywood producer, according to people familiar with the matter."
Weinstein, who won accolades and Oscars for producing films like sex, lies, and videotape, Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Trainspotting, The King's Speech, and The Artist, has been accused of predatory behavior by dozens of women. In October 2017, the NY Times and New Yorker detailed various accounts—including those from Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Annabella Sciorra, and Salma Hayek as well as models and unknown actresses trying to break into films—that claimed Weinstein harassed, coerced, and/or sexually assaulted them. Weinstein was quickly removed from his company, and the revelations forced Hollywood and other industries to scrutinize the conduct of powerful men in their midst.
Adam Harris, a lawyer for Weinstein's brother and studio partner Bob Weinstein, told a bankruptcy court judge on Thursday that "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." From the WSJ:
According to the NY Times
Mr. Harris said the agreement, which hasn’t been finalized, would provide significant compensation to Mr. Weinstein’s alleged victims as well as creditors that did business with Weinstein Co. before it filed for bankruptcy last year.
The $44 million proposal includes about $30 million allocated for plaintiffs, a broad category that includes alleged victims, former Weinstein Co. employees and studio creditors, and would cover the plaintiffs’ lawyers fees, according to the same people familiar with the matter. About $14 million would be used to pay legal fees of Mr. Weinstein’s associates, including his former board members who were named as defendants in lawsuits, the people said...
The civil lawsuits, filed by women in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, name more than 15 defendants, including Mr. Weinstein and associates who were on the company’s board. Some of the alleged incidents in a proposed class-action lawsuit go back more than 25 years. The women claim Mr. Weinstein’s associates helped facilitate his alleged sexual abuse, which they have denied.
, "The proposed sum is less than half of what was initially discussed as a victims’ fund as part of conversations last year between an investor group that was interested in buying assets of the Weinstein Company and Eric T. Schneiderman, who was then New York’s attorney general. That proposed deal, which fell apart at the last minute, included a victims’ fund worth up to $90 million." (Schneiderman later resigned after being accused of hitting and choking women he dated.)
Weinstein still faces criminal charges for sexual assault. He was arrested in May 2018, and the trial will start in September.