Sat, May 25, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Deal close in Weinstein sexual misconduct suits


A tentative deal has been reached to settle multiple lawsuits brought against the television and movie company cofounded by Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by scores of women.

Attorneys involved in the negotiations on Thursday told a federal bankruptcy court judge during a hearing in Wilmington, Delaware, that a breakthrough in a still-unfinished mediation had put a settlement within reach.

The amount of the deal was not revealed in court, but a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press it was about US$44 million. The person was not authorized to reveal details of the discussions and spoke on condition of anonymity.

“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,” Adam Harris, a lawyer for studio cofounder Bob Weinstein, told the judge.

However, he said that there was still “a lot of work here to do, but I personally am very optimistic.”

The size of the settlement was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

More than 15 lawsuits have been filed accusing Harvey Weinstein or the company of misconduct.

The settlement would cover many of them, including a class action by alleged victims that accuses the company of operating like an organized crime group to conceal widespread sexual harassment and assaults.

It would also resolve a civil suit by the New York attorney general alleging that the company, in enabling his mistreatment of women, breached labor laws.

Harvey Weinstein also faces criminal charges in New York of rape and performing a forcible sex act. His trial is scheduled to begin in September.

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