Thursday, September 16 2021

Women who accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct can receive monetary settlements, but will receive the full amount of their claims only if they agree not to sue Weinstein in another court.

Under a revised Weinstein Co. bankruptcy plan, claim holders will receive 100 percent of the settled value of their claims “if they release Weinstein from all legal claims,” ​​meaning they will never be able to take their cases back. the courts. Those who refuse to withdraw their claims will receive only 25 percent of the total determined value of their claim.

“There is no balance. It forces those who don’t want to settle down,” said Douglas Wigdor, partner at Wigdor LLP. Newsweek in an email on Tuesday.

Former film producer Harvey Weinstein enters New York City Criminal Court on February 24, 2020, where he was convicted on rape charges. On Monday, a federal judge in Delaware approved a bankruptcy plan for the assets of Weinstein Co.
Scott Heins / Getty Images

In Delaware on Monday, United States Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath approved the $ 35.2 million plan, which determines where Weinstein Co.’s film and television assets will go. Within the plan is a “Fund of Sexual Misconduct Claims, “which includes $ 17 million for victims of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. An earlier plan that allocated about $ 19 million for victims of sexual misconduct was rejected by a judge in New York in July.

The judge overruled the objections of Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who represent Wedil David, Dominique Huett, Rowena Chiu, Zelda Perkins, Kaja Sokola and Tarale Wulff, who did not agree to the terms of the settlement.

“They were [against the terms] because they forced the survivors to settle the claims against Harvey Weinstein and the directors against their wishes, “Wigdor wrote in his email. fight.”

A total of 55 sexual misconduct claims were filed in the bankruptcy case and 39 claim holders voted in favor of the settlement plan.

“The settlement is fair because, among other things, it gives survivors the power to choose: Those who want to have their day in court can choose to pursue their claims against Harvey Weinstein and those who want closure, privacy and they can certainly choose to accept the settlement, “said Debra Grassgreen, who represents the Official Unsecured Creditors Committee, in an email to Newsweek. The committee is made up of survivors from the Weinstein and Weinstein Co., who, according to Grassgreen, “strongly support” the settlement plan.

To determine how much money each victim will receive, an examiner will score each claim according to a point system. Physical sexual misconduct claims receive up to 60 points, non-physical sexual misconduct claims receive up to 30 points, and emotional distress and financial damage claims earn a maximum of 10 points, according to the Associated Press.

Wigdor said the system is not fair because the claims administrator who will award the points is also the mediator, which is “incorrect.” Grassgreen, on the other hand, said this point system has been used in other sexual abuse cases, including those involving claims against a Catholic diocese, and she “believes it will be applied fairly.”

The agreement will also allow women to get out of all nondisclosure agreements with Weinstein Co., which New York Attorney General Letitia James called a “critical step” in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter.

“From day one, my office has always prioritized the right of survivors to have the opportunity to seek justice on their own terms, and that is exactly what they have done. I want to thank again the brave women who came out to share their stories. with my office and with the world, “the statement said.

The Weinstein Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018. Weinstein is serving a 23-year prison sentence after he was convicted in New York of rape in February 2020.

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