Harvey Weinstein accusers accept $17MILLION settlement for sex abuse claims

MOST of the women who accused former film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct have accepted a settlement that hands them a total of $17million.

A US Bankruptcy Court judge approved the The Weinstein Co’s liquidation plan on Monday.

Among the nearly 40 accusers, 83 per cent “expressed very loudly that they want closure through acceptance of this plan,” said US Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Walrath, who approved the settlement. 

The judge said that the victims did not want to continue litigating for the possibility of more compensation. 

Walrath overruled an objection from a handful of women who wanted to appeal their claims outside the bankruptcy court. 

Weinstein faced sexual abuse allegations in late 2017, going back to the 1970s, and was dismissed from The Weinstein Co, the film studio he founded with his brother. 

He was convicted last year of raping an actress and sexually assaulting a former production assistant and is serving 23 years in prison.

The Weinstein Co filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and Lantern Entertainment purchased its assets for $289million.

Weinstein’s accusers will get nearly half of the $35million that insurers have contributed to the company’s liquidation plan.

Each of the victims who filed claims could get six-figure payouts, according to lawyers for The Weinstein Co. 

A claims examiner will divvy up the $17million based on a points system. 

In addition, the settlement provides $8.4million for bankruptcy claims beyond sexual misconduct. 

During a hearing on Monday afternoon, Genie Harrison, a lawyer representinjg five women including Weinstein’s former assistant Sandeep Rehal, said they “have no doubt” that the settlement was fair. 

“This is not a close call to us," Harrison said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

“My clients view this as a no-brainer.”

Claim holders who want to keep litigating the matter could do so by declining the majority of the payout. 

Weinstein’s lawyer Imran Ansari acknowledged that some accusers will continue to fight the settlement that the court found acceptable. 

“The practical reality is that outside the settlement the plaintiffs face an uncertain financial recovery, with The Weinstein Company bankrupt, and Mr. Weinstein, who denies the claims against him, with a current and future financial state that is far from healthy," Ansari said.

"Those yelling loudly seem to ignore, for whatever reason, that many parties have wanted this settlement to succeed, importantly, it is not just the Weinstein defendants, but the plaintiffs themselves, who likely recognize that it is the only route to a realistic recovery."

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