The New York Attorney General’s office has announced a nearly $19 million settlement for women who were sexually abused and harassed by imprisoned former movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, 68.
“Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company failed their female employees. After all the harassment, threats, and discrimination, their victims are finally receiving some justice,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement on Tuesday, June 30.
The settlement stems from a 2018 civil rights lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General’s office against Weinstein, Robert Weinstein, and the Weinstein companies at large for “egregious violations of New York’s civil rights, human rights, and business laws,” the attorney’s office said at the time.
Under the plan, a $18,875,000 victims’ compensation fund will be created and distributed among “women who experienced a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and gender-based discrimination while working at The Weinstein Company, as well as sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein,” the attorney general’s office said.
As part of the agreement, survivors will also be released from confidentiality, non-disclosure, or non-disparagement agreements with The Weinstein Company or any of the former representatives of the company related to any sexual misconduct by Weinstein. They will now be free to tell their stories without fear of retribution, prosecutors said.
But the agreement must still be approved by the district court and the bankruptcy court that is presiding over The Weinstein Company’s bankruptcy case.
“This agreement is a win for every woman who has experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation by her employer,” New York Attorney, General Letitia James said.
Reacting to the agreement, Douglas H. Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, the attorneys for several of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims disagreed with the settlement and consider it deeply ‘unfair’ because Weinsten doesn’t not accept responsibility for his actions.
“The proposed settlement is a complete sellout of the Weinstein survivors and we are surprised that the Attorney General could somehow boast about a proposal that fails on so many different levels,” the attorneys told CNN in a statement.
“We are completely astounded that the Attorney General is taking a victory lap for this unfair and inequitable proposal, and on behalf of our clients, we will be vigorously objecting in court,” they added.
Weinstein is serving 23 years at Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Alden, New York, after being convicted of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree and rape in the third degree.
The disgraced movie mogul is also facing several charges in Los Angeles, including forcible rape, sexual penetration by use of force, and sexual battery. Weinstein has denied all the allegations.