Harvey Weinstein: Some accusers denounce $19m ‘sellout’ settlement

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Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape in February

Two lawsuits against Harvey Weinstein are to be settled for a proposed $18.9m (£15.3m), the New York Attorney General has announced.

The fund would be distributed between dozens of women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

However, lawyers representing six of the women who have accused the disgraced film producer have criticised the proposal as a “complete sellout”.

Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for rape.

What is the new settlement?

The settlement, announced on Tuesday, would resolve a lawsuit filed in 2018 against Weinstein, his production company and his brother by the New York Attorney General’s office.

It would also settle a separate class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of women who accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault.

“After all the harassment, threats, and discrimination, these survivors are finally receiving some semblance of justice,” Attorney General Letitia James said.

“Women who were forced to sign confidentiality agreements will also be freed from those clauses and finally be able to speak.”

The proposed settlement will still require approval from a federal judge and bankruptcy court.

What has the response from accusers been?

Lawyers Douglas H Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who represent six accusers, criticised the proposed settlement because it did not require Weinstein to accept responsibility or personally pay out any money.

“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,” they said.

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Harvey Weinstein stood trial in Manhattan in February

“While we do not begrudge any survivor who truly wants to participate in this deal, as we understand the proposed agreement, it is deeply unfair for many reasons.”

However, another of Weinstein’s accusers, Louisette Geiss, said: “This important act of solidarity allowed us to use our collective voice to help those who had been silenced and to give back to the many, many survivors who lost their careers and more.

“There is no amount of money that can make up for this injustice, but I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished today.”

In February, Weinstein was convicted in New York City of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act, and later sentenced to 23 years in jail.

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