The New York Attorney General’s office announced Tuesday a nearly $19 million settlement for women who experienced sexual abuse and harassment by imprisoned former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
“Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company failed their female employees. After all the harassment, threats, and discrimination, their victims are finally receiving some justice,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
The settlement stems from a 2018 civil rights lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General’s office against Weinstein, Robert Weinstein and the Weinstein companies at large for “egregious violations of New York’s civil rights, human rights, and business laws,” the attorney’s office said at the time.
Under the plan, a $18,875,000 victims’ compensation fund will be created and distributed among “women who experienced a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and gender-based discrimination while working at The Weinstein Company, as well as sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein,” the attorney general’s office said.
As part of the agreement, survivors will also be released from confidentiality, non-disclosure, or non-disparagement agreements with The Weinstein Company or any of the former representatives of the company related to any sexual misconduct by Weinstein. They will now be free to tell their stories without fear of retribution, prosecutors said.
The agreement must still be approved by the district court as well as the bankruptcy court that is presiding over The Weinstein Company’s bankruptcy case.
“This agreement is a win for every woman who has experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation by her employer,” James said.
Douglas H. Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, attorneys for several of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims, said they disagree with the settlement and consider it to be deeply unfair for several reasons, including that Weinsten doesn’t not accept responsibility for his actions.
“The proposed settlement is a complete sellout of the Weinstein survivors and we are surprised that the Attorney General could somehow boast about a proposal that fails on so many different levels,” the attorneys told CNN in a statement.
“We are completely astounded that the Attorney General is taking a victory lap for this unfair and inequitable proposal, and on behalf of our clients, we will be vigorously objecting in court,” they added.
Weinstein’s civil attorney, Imran Ansari, told CNN that Weinstein “remains intently focused in defending himself on all remaining legal matters, including the appeal of his criminal conviction, civil lawsuits, and the charges filed against him in LA.”
Weinstein is serving 23 years in prison in New York after being convicted of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. He’s facing several charges in Los Angeles, including forcible rape, sexual penetration by use of force, and sexual battery. Weinstein has denied the allegations.
The former producer was assigned to the Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Alden, New York.