Harvey Weinstein's Victims Awarded US$19 million Settlement

The women are to share a US$19mil settlement as part of a deal agreement by the New York Attorney General.

Nine women who sued disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse and harassment have been awarded a US$19 million (S$27mil) settlement.

New York's Attorney General's office have made a deal with the Weinstein Company in relation to the class action lawsuit brought by former employees of the production company.

New York Attorney General Letitia James' office explained the money from the compensation fund will be distributed among ex-staff members who "experienced a hostile work environment, sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination".

In addition, the agreement — which still needs to be approved by the district court presiding over the case — will override any confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements which the victims signed with the company or any of its former representatives.

The AG's office said in a statement: "Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company failed their female employees.

"After all the harassment, threats, and discrimination, these survivors are finally receiving some justice."

However, attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who are representing a number of former Weinstein employees, branded the settlement a "complete sellout", citing five grievances including the fact that within the proposal the fallen movie mogul "accepts no responsibility for his actions" and doesn't have to pay any of his own money to the compensation fund.

They said in a statement: "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.

"We are completely astounded that the Attorney General is taking a victory lap for this unfair and inequitable proposal, and on behalf of our clients, we will be vigorously objecting in court."

The suit against Weinstein, his brother Bob, and the production company was filed in February 2018 and accused them of violating numerous state codes against sexual harassment, intimidation and other workplace safety protections.

The AG's office had claimed assistants working for the disgraced producer - who was sentenced to 23 years in prison earlier this year - "were exposed to and required to facilitate" sexual encounters for him "as a condition of employment" and there was a clear paper trail of official complaints to the firm's human resources department which had been ignored.

More than 100 women have accused Weinstein of harassment and sexual misconduct.

- BANG

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