Weinstein reaches tentative USD19M deal with accusers

NEW YORK (AP) – Harvey Weinstein and his former studio’s board have reached a nearly USD19 million settlement with dozens of his sexual misconduct accusers, New York state’s attorney general and lawyers in a class-action lawsuit said yesterday.

The agreement was announced by New York Attorney General Letitia James and Chicago attorney Elizabeth A. Fegan.

The deal, if approved by judges in federal courts, would permit accusers to claim from USD7,500 to USD750,000 from the USD18.8 million settlement.

The former Hollywood producer was convicted earlier this year of rape and sexual assault against two women. Accusations by dozens of women in 2017 destroyed his career and gave rise to #MeToo, the global movement to hold powerful men accountable for their sexual misconduct.

The 68-year-old former film producer was diagnosed in March with the coronavirus just days after he was moved to the state’s maximum security Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo to begin serving his 23-year prison sentence.

File photo of Harvey Weinstein at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City. PHOTO: AFP

“This settlement is the culmination of several 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 of those who were afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation in Hollywood,” Fegan said.

Included in the news release was a statement by plaintiff Caitlin Dulany, who said Weinstein isolated and assaulted her after they met in 1996 at the Cannes Film Festival.

“When I came forward and shared my story about the assault, I knew there wouldn’t be a straight path to justice,” Dulany said.

“Harvey avoided accountability for decades, leveraging his power to hide behind a web of deceit, and I was determined to join the class action to ensure meaningful change for all survivors,” she said. “I am proud that this settlement will help so many women who are long overdue for justice and relief.”

James said in a release that the deal would resolve claims in a New York state lawsuit and in a class-action lawsuit that was pending in federal court.