“This is the worst settlement I’ve seen in my entire career.”
Disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein reached a $25 million settlement with some of the women who accused him of sexual harassment, assault, and rape.
Other accusers have lashed out at the settlement.
At least 30 of the accusers have agreed to the settlement, but requires “court approval and a final signoff by all parties.”
The insurance companies representing the producer’s former studio, the Weinstein Company,” would pay the money. However:
More than $12 million — a quarter of the overall settlement package — would go toward some, but not all, legal costs for Mr. Weinstein; his brother, Bob; and other former members of their company’s board, the lawyers said. The board members would be insulated from future liability, and the alleged victims would drop their claims against Mr. Weinstein and other executives.
Several plaintiffs’ lawyers said Mr. Weinstein, who would avoid making a personal payout, had claimed that he might soon file for personal bankruptcy.
Some of the women would receive $500,000 each, but others “do not know how much they could get under the deal.
A few of the accusers explained why they agreed with the settlement:
Katherine Kendall, 50, an actress who accused Mr. Weinstein of luring her to what she thought would be a work discussion in 1993 and then chasing her around his New York apartment while he was nude, said she was disappointed by the terms but had agreed to them partly because she didn’t want to block fellow plaintiffs from getting whatever recompense they could. “I don’t love it, but I don’t know how to go after him,” she said in an interview. “I don’t know what I can really do.”
Genie Harrison, a sexual harassment lawyer representing Sandeep Rehal, a former Weinstein assistant who is part of the proposed settlement, said that holding out for more favorable terms might have left the alleged victims empty-handed. A combination of preliminary legal rulings against various plaintiffs, laws that protect boards against liability, and previous failed settlement efforts had put the women in a weaker bargaining position.
“I don’t think there’s a markedly better deal to be made,” Ms. Harrison said. “We have really, truly done the best we can under the circumstances, and it’s important for other victims to know this, come forward and be able to get the best level of compensation we were able to get.”
Lawyers representing other victims blasted the settlement because Weinstein’s attorneys would receive more money than the women:
“I think it’s an outrage,” said lawyer Thomas Giuffra of the proposed deal, which calls for a pool of $25 million to be set aside for Weinstein victims by insurers of the company that he ran with his brother Bob Weinstein.
“It’s a lousy number, it’s way too low,” said Giuffra, who called the overall design of the settlement “crazy.”
The lawyer represents producer Alexandra Canosa, who has said Weinstein raped and sexually abused her.
Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer for three Weinstein accusers said, “This is the worst settlement I’ve seen in my entire career.”
“It’s a complete disaster,” Wigdor added. “It leaves very little to the victims.”
Wigdor and Giuffra said “that if there is money left over from the victims’ settlement pool, it would go to business creditors of the company, as well as toward the directors’ and Weinsteins’ legal defense costs, leaving the brothers better off financially than they otherwise would be.”DONATE
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