Weinstein, former studio reach $25M deal with accusers: report

Weinstein, former studio reach $25M deal with accusers: report
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Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his former studio have reached a $25 million deal with dozens of his accusers, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The settlement, which has gotten preliminary approval from the major parties, would not mandate Weinstein to admit wrongdoing or pay any of his own money to the victims, lawyers told the Times. The settlement would effectively end almost every lawsuit against Weinstein.

The money would go to more than 30 actresses who made allegations ranging from sexual harassment to rape and any other potential claimants who may join the lawsuit in the coming months. To finalize the settlement, it would need to be approved by the court and all participating parties. 

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The $25 million would come from the former studio, the Weinstein Company, which would pay the actresses as part of a $47 million agreement to close out its obligations, a half-dozen lawyers told the Times.

Under the deal, 18 of the alleged victims would divide $6.2 million, without anyone receiving more than $500,000, the Times reported. The other $18.5 million would be designated for the class-action case, the New York attorney general’s lawsuit and any future claimants. A court-appointed representative would ensure payments are divided based on the severity of harm alleged.

Some accusers and their lawyers were upset that Weinstein would not have to admit wrongdoing or pay with his own money, including Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who represent two alleged victims.

"We reject the notion that this was the best settlement that could have been achieved on behalf of the victims," they wrote in a statement.

"While we don’t begrudge victims who want to settle, we plan to vigorously object to any provision that tries to bind victims who want to proceed with holding Harvey Weinstein accountable for his actions which is exactly what we intend to do," they added.

But Genie Harrison, a sexual harassment lawyer representing one of the alleged victims, said the agreement was better than the alleged victims getting nothing.

“I don’t think there’s a markedly better deal to be made,” Harrison told the Times. “We have really, truly done the best we can under the circumstances, and it’s important for other victims to know this, come forward and be able to get the best level of compensation we were able to get.”

Some alleged victims’ lawyers also said Weinstein may file for personal bankruptcy soon, according to the Times.