Harvey Weinstein reaches a $ 44 million settlement with prosecutors and creditors, but attorneys argue over the terms
Disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein has reached a $ 44 million tentative settlement with women who accused him of sexual assault, as well as creditors from his former studio, according to two people familiar with the deal.
The proposed transaction, which has not yet been finalized, was worked out this week during mediation hearings from the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy proceedings, according to knowledgeable individuals who were not authorized to speak publicly.
The proposed settlement would provide $ 30 million to accusers, unsecured creditors and former Weinstein Co. employees, according to one person. The remaining $ 14 million would be used to pay legal fees for the company’s directors and officers, the person said.
Insurance companies, including Chubb Limited and AIG, are expected to make payment on behalf of Weinstein Co., which filed for bankruptcy last year.
Two knowledgeable people said Walt Disney Co. could contribute funds through its insurance companies to pay for the settlement. Some of the alleged misconduct occurred when Disney previously owned Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s successful Miramax studio.
“It has been a long, complex process and we feel that this comparison offers a measure of fairness, although it is not all one could hope for, and it reflects a long effort to find a compromise between different parties who are entitled to some of the money. “from across the Weinstein business,” said Aaron Filler, an attorney who represents one of the plaintiffs, actress Paz De La Huerta.
The move comes 19 months after the misconduct allegations were first detailed, sparking a cascade of reports from dozens of women making allegations of assault, rape and verbal abuse. The Groundwell led to the #MeToo movement, which led Hollywood to take a sobering look at its business.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the preliminary settlement, saying the news of the deal came during a hearing in a bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Del.
The preliminary agreement on Thursday follows months of controversial mediation hearings. The aim was to reach a global settlement that would settle all civil claims filed against Weinstein. More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed on behalf of the prosecutors.
In the past year, the mediator has held at least 11 meetings, some of which were “very adversarial” according to court records.
Weinstein Co. was sold from bankruptcy to Lantern Capital Partners for $ 289 million including debt last year. This deal was structured in such a way that Weinstein himself did not benefit from the new entity.
The case is a civil matter and does not change how various law enforcement agencies are prosecuted.
The Hollywood producer behind Oscar-winning hits like “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago” and “The King’s Speech” has been charged by more than 80 women for harassment and assault, including actresses Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Annabella Sciorra .
Some are not on board in the proposed deal.
“Ashley Judd’s case against Harvey Weinstein is pending and we intend to take it to court,” said her attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr., partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. “It is not part of a settlement.”
Attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer said their client Wedil David, who claims Weinstein raped her in a Beverly Hills hotel room in 2015, also turned down the deal.
“Rather than adequately compensate Harvey Weinstein’s rape and sexual assault victims … in a statement on Friday. “Our client does not allow a sacrifice that accepts a comparison that she considers acceptable. But it will not get involved in a process that is fundamentally flawed and unfair. “
However, Filler said his client, Paz De La Huerta, believed the deal was a fair compromise. He criticized Wigdor’s resistance, saying it could lead to the failure of the entire settlement.
Weinstein is also charged with multiple sexual assault charges in New York and is currently on bail. The former film mogul rejects all allegations of non-consensual sex.
In April, Weinstein’s former companies and their officers and directors were sacked by a federal lawsuit filed by 10 women alleging the companies and executives supported the alleged sexual misconduct that led to Weinstein’s dismissal from his company of the same name.
The deal, if approved by the various parties, would also resolve a civil rights case filed by the New York attorney general last year, the Journal said. The agency has argued that Weinstein Co.’s executives and board members failed to protect employees from a hostile work environment and Weinstein’s alleged wrongdoing.
A spokesman for the New York attorney general declined to comment. A Weinstein spokesman declined to comment.
A bankruptcy judge will approve the settlement on June 4th.