The #MeToo movement gained momentum when brave women like Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan stepped forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Since then, dozens of women and men have come forward to speak out against Weinstein (and thousands more about their own experiences of harassment). These accusations have left Weinstein with several unresolved criminal charges, and over 15 lawsuits filed against him or his company. In a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware on Thursday, attorney Adam Harris revealed that a tentative settlement in the amount of $44 million had been reached.
While Weinstein has agreed to this deal, it has not yet been finalized. Harris, who represents Weinstein Company co-founder Bob Weinstein, described the deal like this in court: “We now have an economic agreement in principal that is supported by the plaintiffs, the (New York attorney general’s) office, the defendants and all of the insurers that, if approved, would provide significant compensation to victims, creditors and the estate and allow the parties to avoid years of costly, time consuming and uncertain litigation on all sides.”
This settlement, if finalized, would settle some of the lawsuits against Weinstein — but not all. The settlement would, however, cover the only class action lawsuit against him, filed by alleged victims who accuse The Weinstein Company of covering up Harvey’s pattern of assaulting and harassing employees. It would also cover the New York attorney general’s civil suit against him, which alleges that The Weinstein Company violated labor laws by failing to protect employees from Harvey’s behavior.
Weinstein’s lawyers have been in mediations for months trying to find a resolution — Harris says he’s “very optimistic” this deal will come to pass, but acknowledges that there is “a lot of work here to do.” While Weinstein continues to deny all allegations of nonconsensual sex, he still faces criminal charges in New York of rape, performing a forcible sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct. If convicted for these crimes, he could face life in prison — a circumstance completely unaffected by this settlement.
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