Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced media mogul who has been accused by nearly 80 women of sexual misconduct, has reached a tentative $44 million deal to settle lawsuits with his accusers and other parties, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the terms of the deal, about $30 million would go to Weinstein’s alleged victims, as well as Weinstein’s former creditors and some former employees of the Weinstein Company. The rest would be used to pay the legal fees of Weinstein’s associates who have been named in the lawsuits against him. The negotiations have been going on for more than a year.
Although the alleged sum is sizable, it still pales in comparison to the original deal proposed by then-New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman and an investment company looking to purchase the Weinstein Company’s assets. That deal which would have included a pool of funds for Weinstein’s alleged victims and would have totaled around $90 million had it gone through.
Once one of the most powerful man in Hollywood who helped launch the careers of A-listers like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Quentin Tarantino, Weinstein descended into ignominy when the New York Times published a series of articles in 2017 quoting women accusing him of sexual misconduct. The allegations began a snowball effect, with numerous actresses accusing him of sexual misconduct. The allegations against Weinstein have also been credited with helping to kickstart the #MeToo movement, specifically the “Weinstein effect,” a term used to describe people coming forward with sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men.
Following the New York Times report, Weinstein has faced a flurry of lawsuits, most notably from the New York attorney general’s office, which accused him and his business partner and brother Bob of violating local sexual harassment and gender discrimination laws. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2018.
Weinstein has also been indicted on sex crime charges in the State Supreme Court of Manhattan, with three women accusing him of sexual assault and a former production assistant accusing him of forcing her to perform oral sex in 2006. His criminal trial will start in September.