NEW YORK (AP) – Harvey Weinstein and the board of his former studio have reached a settlement of nearly $ 19 million with dozens of his sexual misconduct accusers, the attorney general of New York State and lawyers in a class-action lawsuit .
The deal was announced by New York Attorney General Letitia James and Chicago lawyer Elizabeth A. Fegan.
The deal, if approved by judges at federal courts, would allow prosecutors to claim $ 7,500 to $ 750,000 from the $ 18.8 million settlement.
The former Hollywood producer was convicted of rape and sexual assault against two women earlier this year. Allegations of dozens of women in 2017 destroyed his career and led to #MeToo, the global movement to blame powerful men for their sexual misconduct.
The 68-year-old former film producer was diagnosed with the coronavirus in March, just days after moving to the state’s high-security Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo to serve his 23-year sentence.
“This settlement is the result of years of hard work by survivors who not only initiated the #MeToo movement around Weinstein, but also used their platforms to seek justice for all those who were afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation in Hollywood, “Fegan said.
The press release included a statement from plaintiff Caitlin Dulany, who said Weinstein isolated and assaulted her after they met at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.
“When I came forward and told my story about the attack, I knew there would be no just path to justice,” said Dulany.
“For decades, Harvey avoided liability, using his power to hide behind a web of deception, and I was determined to join the class action to make meaningful changes for all survivors,” she said. “I am proud that this settlement will help so many people who have to wait a long time for justice and enlightenment.”
James said in a press release that the deal would resolve claims in a New York state lawsuit and in a class-action lawsuit pending in federal court.
“After all the intimidation, threats and discrimination, these survivors are finally getting some justice,” said James.
She called it “a victory for any woman who has experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, harassment or retaliation from her employer.”
Gerald Maatman, lead counsel for the Weinstein Companies, declined to comment.
Messages asking for comment were left for Weinstein and individuals on the board of his former studio.
Lawyers Douglas H. Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who represent some of Weinstein’s accusers in lawsuits, said in a statement that the proposed settlement was “a full sale of the Weinstein survivors.”
They called it “very unfair” and said that Weinstein should not accept responsibility and pay no money for it. They also said that the director’s defendants will receive millions of dollars to cover their defense costs.
The lawyers said the deal would also harm women who do not join the settlement because they would not be able to receive large sums from insurance companies that would be protected by the deal.
“We are utterly surprised that the Attorney General is booking a round of victory for this unfair and unfair proposal, and on behalf of our clients, we will strongly object to the court,” said the lawyers.
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