News World Harvey Weinstein reaches $37m settlement with accusers

Harvey Weinstein reaches $37m settlement with accusers

Harvey Weinstein: From Tinseltown titan to entertainment industry outcast.
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Harvey Weinstein and his bankrupt film studio have reached a tentative $US25 million ($A36.7 million) settlement with dozens of women who accused him of sexual misconduct, The New York Times says, citing lawyers involved.

The accord would end nearly all civil lawsuits by actresses and former Weinstein employees who accused the former Hollywood producer of offences ranging from sexual harassment to rape, the newspaper said.

Insurers for the former Weinstein Co studio would fund the payout, and Weinstein would not be required to admit wrongdoing or to pay anything, the newspaper said.

Representatives for Weinstein declined to comment.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct dating back decades by more than 70 women. He has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters were consensual.

According to The New York Times, accusers involved in the tentative accord would make their claims in bankruptcy court, and the $US25 million payout would be part of a $US47 million deal to settle all of the studio’s obligations.

The litigation is separate from criminal charges that Weinstein faces in New York, where prosecutors have accused him of sexually assaulting two women, one in 2006 and another in 2013.

A trial is scheduled to start January 6, 2020. Weinstein could face life in prison if convicted on the top counts.

Weinstein, 67, used a walker to enter the courthouse for a bail hearing on Wednesday. He is scheduled to have back surgery on Thursday.

Through his namesake studio and his original Miramax studio, Weinstein became one of Hollywood’s most powerful executives, powering a string of films to Oscar gold, including Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love and The King’s Speech.

The accusations that surfaced against him in October 2017 helped spark the #MeToo movement, where hundreds of women have accused powerful men in entertainment, business, media, politics and other fields of sexual misconduct.

The reported settlement drew criticism from Doug Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, lawyers for two of Weinstein’s accusers.

In a joint statement, they said the accord would pay too much to lawyers and too little to victims, and might excuse the studio’s insurers and board from liability to victims who choose not to participate.

“While we don’t begrudge victims who want to settle, we plan to vigorously object to any provision that tries to bind victims who want to proceed with holding Harvey Weinstein accountable for his actions,” they said.

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