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Image / Editorial

‘A complete sellout’: Harvey Weinstein’s victims agree to a $19 million settlement


By Shayna Sappington
01st Jul 2020
‘A complete sellout’: Harvey Weinstein’s victims agree to a $19 million settlement

A group of women who sued Weinstein for sexual misconduct have agreed to the financial settlement but some say it is not enough


Some of the victims of Harvey Weinstein have agreed to a $19 million settlement with the jailed producer, his film company and a few people who worked there.

The deal, which still needs to be approved by bankruptcy and district courts, will settle the New York State Attorney General’s lawsuit against him as well as some of his accusers’ lawsuits, including Louisette Geiss, Sarah Ann Thomas, Melissa Thompson, Melissa Sagemiller, Nannette May, Katherine Kendall, Caitlin Dulany, Larissa Gomes, and a woman referred to as Jill Doe.

A victims’ fund

However, the $19 million fund would not just be split between these victims. The women’s lawyers said it would also establish a “victims’ fund allowing all women who were abused by Harvey Weinstein under certain circumstances to make claims for damages in a confidential and non-adversarial process.” 

Weinstein was formally convicted of rape and sexual assault earlier this year and sentenced to 23 years in prison. And, now that a hefty financial settlement has been reached, Attorney General Letitia James considers this a win for the victims.

“Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company failed their female employees. After all the harassment, threats, and discrimination, these survivors are finally receiving some justice,” she said in a statement.

“For more than two years, my office has fought tirelessly in the pursuit of justice for the women whose lives were upended by Harvey Weinstein.

“This agreement is a win for every woman who has experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation by her employer. I thank the brave women who came forward to share their stories with my office.”

‘A complete sellout’

However, some of the victims’ lawyers are unhappy with the deal reached. Douglas H. Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who represent some Weinstein accusers not participating in the settlement, called the deal “a complete sellout”. 

Weinstein did not have to accept any responsibility, they said, or personally pay out any money. Plus, the $19 million is significantly less than the amount that the over 30 women involved in the 2017 class action were demanding.

Fortunately, though, the Attorney General has reassured the victims that this $19 million settlement will also allow women who had previously signed confidentiality, non-disclosure, or non-disparagement agreements with The Weinstein Company, or its former representatives, related to any sexual misconduct by Weinstein to be released from those clauses and free to tell their stories without fear of retribution.

This could have a significant impact on his charges in Los Angeles as well, where he is facing five more sexual assault charges.

Feature image: @Complex

 

Read more: Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape and sexual assault

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Read more: Women speak out: ‘He offered me a promotion but said he needed a favour first. He walked over and pulled up my top’