Washington: American film producer Harvey Weinstein has reached a tentative USD 44 million settlement to resolve lawsuits filed by women who accused him of sexual misconduct.
According to The New York Times, as cited by The Hollywood Reporter, the lawyers representing Weinstein had agreed a proposed USD 44 million settlement with his accusers. The movie mogul has also reached a tentative deal with creditors of his former studio The Weinstein Co. (TWC) and the New York attorney general.
Under the settlement, that is yet to be finalized, USD 30 million would be reserved for the accusers, unsecured creditors, and the former TWC employees. The remaining USD 14 million would be used to pay legal fees.
The publication reported that insurance policies would cover the multi-million deal if it is approved by the advisers in charge of the former TWC’s bankruptcy proceedings.
Negotiations between Weinstein’s legal team and the lawyers who are representing the women accusers have reportedly been going on for over a year now.
The settlement with the New York attorney general is related to that office’s February 2018 lawsuit against Weinstein and his brother and business partner Bob Weinstein for the violation of state and city laws on sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and gender discrimination.
With the proposed settlement, Weinstein’s lawyers hope to cover all the pending lawsuits against their client and his business associates relating to his now-bankrupt studio.
In October 2017, the Times reported that several women had accused the Oscar-winning producer of sexual assault. The allegations led to a number of further claims of sexual assault against Weinstein in The New Yorker and other publications. The allegations against the producer went on to spur accusations against various prominent men in Hollywood and around the world under the #MeToo hashtag on social media, which became a movement.
After the slew of allegations against Weinstein, TWC filed for bankruptcy in March 2018.
Despite reports of a proposed settlement deal with some of his accusers and creditors, Weinstein continues to face legal issues with a number of lawsuits filed by other accusers and upcoming criminal trials.
In September this year, Weinstein will go on trial in New York for charges of raping an unidentified female friend in his Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on another woman in 2006.
In a separate case against the movie mogul, a US District Judge allowed a sex trafficking case to go ahead against Weinstein relating to a 2017 suit.
More than 80 women, including actors Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rose McGowan have opened up about similar stories against Weinstein. Some accused him of using physical force to compel them to have intercourse, while others said he tried to exchange parts in movies for sex or threatened to ruin their careers if they did not comply with him.