Harvey Weinstein is settling lawsuits launched by women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, with the Wall Street Journal reporting the disgraced movie mogul and his former studio’s board members have reached a tentative $44-million settlement deal.
Citing “two people briefed on the matter” (who “spoke on the condition of anonymity because the agreement was private”), the Journal states that the proposed terms of the deal would see approximately $30 million go to a pool of plaintiffs that includes Weinstein’s alleged victims, creditors of his former former studio as well as some former employees, involving more than 15 lawsuits.
The balance of the money would then go to pay legal fees for Weinstein’s associates, including board members who are named as defendants in lawsuits.
When finalized, the $44 million would be covered by insurance policies, but would first have to be approved by advisers of the now-defunct Weinstein Company’s bankruptcy proceedings.
“Lawyers for women who say they were victims of Mr. Weinstein have been in mediation since last year with representatives for the former studio mogul,” adds the New York Times, adding that lawyers for the former board members were involved in the negotiations, as was the New York attorney general’s office, which sued Weinstein and his brother/business partner Bob Weinstein for violating state and city laws barring gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual abuse and coercion.
According to the Times, Weinstein didn’t return calls for comment, while a spokeswoman for the office of the New York State attorney general declined to comment.
However, Ashley Judd insists that news of the settlement won’t be impacting her ongoing lawsuit against Weinstein, issuing a tweet in response to declare her intentions to take her case against Weinstein to trial.
Judd sued Weinstein last year, accusing him of sexually harassing her and subsequently badmouthing her to others in the film industry, alleging her career suffered for years after being blacklisted due to his efforts. A judge dismissed her sexual harassment claims, but allowed her to continue to pursue her defamation suit against Weinstein, which is currently winding its way though the courts.
Meanwhile, Weinstein, 67, continues to face criminal charges over allegations he raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performed oral sex on another woman in 2006. He entered a plea of not guilty, insisting both encounters were consensual.
Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by nearly 100 women, was arrested in May 2018, and subsequently released on $1 million bail.