June 15, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Weinstein victims to get $17.1 million in settlement

Nearly a year after Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and three years after his embattled movie studio declared bankruptcy, a judge on Monday confirmed a settlement plan that would pay $17.1 million to many of the women who have accused the ex-mogul of sexual misconduct.

The $35 million liquidation plan approved by a U.S. bankruptcy judge also includes a $9.7 million disbursement to cover a portion of the legal bills incurred by Weinstein Co.’s former officers and directors.

Another $8.4 million would go to a liquidation trust for resolving nonsexual misconduct claims.

The settlement closes an often rancorous and prolonged chapter in the Weinstein litigation saga that saw various proposals scuttled and litigants opt out, all while the initial fund for accusers dwindled.

New York-based Weinstein Co. filed for bankruptcy in March 2018 and later sold of most of its assets to private equity firm Lantern Capital Partners for $289 million.

“We’ve worked closely with many survivors of Harvey Weinstein who desired a resolution that would provide a safe and confidential process for recovery, and today we’re proud to share that the bankruptcy court approved a plan that provides just such a process,” said Elizabeth A. Fegan, an attorney representing the class action plaintiffs, in a statement.

“This bankruptcy plan guarantees that Harvey Weinstein’s survivors will have the opportunity to be heard in a safe and confidential process,” she added. “Although there will never be enough compensation or redress to right these wrongs, we’re immeasurably honored to represent our brave and resilient clients who, in the face of adverse rulings, continued to advocate for a fund for all survivors.”

In July, a federal judge rejected a proposed settlement between the disgraced mogul and nine women who said he sexually assaulted or abused them.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in New York declined to consent to the $18.9-million settlement in part because the agreement tried to include claims by women who asked to be excluded from the deal. He said the proposed settlement unfairly included women who simply met Weinstein, in addition to those who were sexually assaulted by him.

Attorneys for Weinstein were not immediately available for comment.

Many women and activists have publicly opposed the plan, denouncing it as offering inadequate compensation to the victims while enabling Weinstein and the directors of his namesake company to evade accountability or liability.

“We look forward to continuing to fight on behalf of survivors who seek to hold Harvey Weinstein and his corporate enablers accountable,” said attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who have opted out of the settlement on behalf of seven women who allege they were abused by Weinstein, in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report