Harvey Weinstein strikes $44 million agreement to settle civil lawsuits with his accusers: reports

The deal will reportedly be paid by insurance policies — not the disgraced Hollywood producer

Published May 24, 2019 10:14AM (EDT)

Harvey Weinstein arrives for a court appearance. (Getty/Kevin Hagen)
Harvey Weinstein arrives for a court appearance. (Getty/Kevin Hagen)

Attorneys representing claims against Harvey Weinstein, his company and former associates have reached a tentative $44 million agreement to settle civil lawsuits covering his alleged sexual misconduct, according to reports Thursday from both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

As part of the agreement, $30 million would go to the alleged victims of the disgraced Hollywood producer, former Weinstein Company employees and creditors and their lawyers. The remaining amount would be used to cover legal fees, the Journal reported.

The deal will reportedly be paid by insurance policies — not Weinstein.

"We now have an economic agreement in principle that's supported by the plaintiffs, the [New York attorney general's office], the defendants and all the insurers," Adam Harris, a lawyer for Weinstein Company co-founder Bob Weinstein, reportedly told Judge Mary Walrath of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. "I personally am very optimistic, given everything the parties have been through to date that this is the right solution."

Bob Weinstein is also the brother to Harvey Weinstein.

Following news of the deal, actress Ashley Judd, who has accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, tweeted that she intends to take Weinstein to court.

"My lawsuit against #harveyweinstein is ongoing and I intend to take him to trial. #metoo. @MeTooMVMT," she said Friday.

The proposed agreement would not affect a criminal case pending against Weinstein in Manhattan, which accuses him of raping a woman in a New York hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another women at his Manhattan apartment in 2006.

Weinstein faces two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and vehemently denied allegations of rape. His trial is scheduled to begin September 9.

The criminal charges facing Weinstein involve two women and span nearly a decade from 2004 to 2003. He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Weinstein has denied the allegations.

The Journal noted the tentative deal reached Thursday is "the product of mediation sessions that began last year with the goal of reaching a global settlement of all civil suits pending against Mr. Weinstein, his former company and associates," adding the civil lawsuits name more than 15 defendants. Some of the alleged incidents in the lawsuit go back more than 25 years.

If the proposal is finalized, the Journal noted, it would also resolve a civil-rights lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general's office last year, which accuses the Weinstein Company's executives and board of failing to protect employees from "unrelenting sexual harassment, intimidation and discrimination" from Weinstein.

Dozens of women have come forward publicly to accuse Weinstein after bombshell exposés in the New York Times and the New Yorker revealed allegations spanning nearly 30 years in late 2017. The reports revealed that Weinstein's behavior was an open secret in Hollywood.

Since then, Weinstein has been accused by more than 80 women of wrongdoing, ranging from unwanted sexual advances rape. He is also under investigation for alleged sex crimes in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and London.

The accusations against Weinstein motivated women around the world to come forward with allegations of sexual harassment at the hands of powerful men, catalyzing the decades-old #MeToo movement which calls attention to sexual misconduct. The heightened scrutiny has rippled across industries and ensnared numerous powerful men, from journalists Matt Lauer and Mark Halperin to chef Mario Batali and actor and comedian Aziz Ansari. Multiple women have also accused actor Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior and harassment.

By Shira Tarlo

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All Salon Harvey Weinstein #metoo The Weinstein Company