Bankruptcy Judge Approves $17 Million Settlement To Harvey Weinstein Victims
Harvey Weinstein's defamed film company collapsed in 2017 after over 100 victims came forward with allegations of rape, sexual assault, and misconduct, he was removed from his executive role at Weinstein Co. that same year.
A United States bankruptcy judge approved an allocation of over $17 million for Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and assault victims. Announced on Monday, the liquidation news comes nearly three years after Weinstein Co. went bankrupt, Weinstein the co-founder of the defamed film studio, is currently incarcerated.
Variety reports the plan will also shell out $9.7 million to the former officers and directors of the company. This will allow them to pay a portion of their legal fees over the past few years. The directors and officers involved also were given releases that clear them of potential liability for “enabling Weinstein’s conduct.”
Judge Mary Walrath approved the plan following a hearing in Delaware. She stated that without the settlement, Weinstein’s victims would receive, “minimal, if any recovery.”
The independent studio was founded by Weinstein and his brother Bob in 2005. After more than 100 women came forward with allegations of rape, sexual assault, and misconduct, it collapsed in 2017. Harvey was relinquished from his role in October 2017. Weinstein Co. declared bankruptcy in February 2018 and was no longer running that same year. The liquidation plan is the latest update that could close the chaotic chapters the company has faced.
A payout totaling 35.2 million will come from several insurance carriers to resolve the remaining claims. Those insurance companies must also pay “the Weinstein Co.’s creditors,” per Variety.
In regards to the victims' fund, $17 million will be split up between more than 50 claimants, the most serious allegations will receive $500,000 or more. In a vote, 39 of Weinstein’s victims voted in favor of the settlement, eight opposed it.
Ruby Liu, an attorney who represents the eight who voted against stated on Monday that the settlement was “meager.” She also argued it “deprives her clients of the opportunity to pursue Bob Weinstein and other directors in court.”
Paul Zumbro, an attorney representing the Weinstein Co. estate opposed Liu when he expressed the deal was the best available for victims. He noted the insurance companies wouldn’t have agreed to payout without releasing the directors and officers.
Initially, a $24.3 million payout was discussed for the victims. This includes women who alleged they were abused by Harvey in the “Miramax” era before 2005. A different judge rejected that deal, he felt those claims weren’t viable. The settlement then moved to exclude Miramax, Disney and their insurers.
Civil claimants still have the option to pursue Harvey Weinstein in civil court. But, only time will tell if this happens as attorneys don’t believe he has many assets left.
As of today, Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence on charges of criminal sexual act and rape. In Los Angeles, he still faces six more sexual assault charges.