After almost three years after Weinstein Company declared bankruptcy, a judge confirmed a liquidation plan that provides a $17.1 million fund for Weinstein’s sexual misconduct victims.
According to Variety, the plan also provides $9.7 million to the former officers and directors of the Weinstein Co., allowing them to pay a portion of their legal bills over the last several years. The directors and officers — who include Weinstein’s brother, Bob, as well as James Dolan, Tarak Ben Ammar, and Lance Maerov — also received releases that absolve them of any potential liability for enabling Weinstein’s conduct.
US Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath approved the plan after a hearing in Delaware, saying that without the settlement, Weinstein’s victims would get “minimal if any, recovery.”
The liquidation plan wraps up a contentious and long-running legal fight over the remnants of Weinstein’s independent studio. The company collapsed in late 2017, following the disclosure of dozens of allegations of rape, sexual assault, harassment and other misconduct.
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The $17 million victims’ fund will be divided among more than 50 claimants, with the most serious allegations resulting in payouts of $500,000 or more. The settlement was put to a vote of Weinstein’s victims, with 39 voting in favor and eight opposed.
An attorney representing the objectors, argued Monday that the settlement fund is “meager” and that the deal deprives her clients of the opportunity to pursue Bob Weinstein and other directors in court.
“There are more than monetary considerations that my clients are seeking,” she said. “They are seeking a finding from a jury that holds all responsible parties accountable. That’s not just Harvey Weinstein.”
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An earlier version of the settlement would have provided a $24.3 million payout to victims, including women who alleged they were abused in the “Miramax” era, which predated 2005. But Judge Alvin Hellerstein rejected the deal, saying the class action suit that included the Miramax-era victims was not viable. The settlement was later revised to exclude Miramax, Disney and their insurers.
Weinstein’s lawyer Imran H. Ansari of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins sent a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that read, “While there are those who continue to rail against the settlement, that the court found acceptable today, the practical reality is that outside the settlement the plaintiffs face an uncertain financial recovery, with The Weinstein Company bankrupt, and Mr. Weinstein, who denies the claims against him, with a current and future financial state that is far from healthy,” he said. “Those yelling loudly seem to ignore, for whatever reason, that many parties have wanted this settlement to succeed, importantly, it is not just the Weinstein defendants, but the plaintiffs themselves, who likely recognize that it is the only route to a realistic recovery.”
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