In a settlement agreement that has taken nearly two years to reach, Harvey Weinstein and his accusers may have reached an agreement. The board of his film studio, which is now bankrupt, and Weinstein have reached a deal with his alleged victims of sexual assault that looks like this civil case will conclude soon. Many of his accusers, however, have gone online to speak out about the unfairness of the agreement and the continued fight against this injustice.
While many women are not happy with the result of the civil case, others have also expressed that this is the best deal available. While that does not make it right or fair, this agreement is the best these women have been offered so far, and it seems like it will stay that way. Many of these women are accepting the unfair deal to end this battle and move on with their lives. Others are still prepared to fight for their compensation and a fair settlement.
The settlement agreement is for a total of nearly $47 million and would compensate most of Weinstein’s alleged victims. However, only $25 million of that amount would go towards compensating the women that have filed individual lawsuits. The remainder would be placed into a settlement fund that would be divided to compensate the 18 women that were part of a separate class-action lawsuit. The settlement fund can also be distributed towards claimants whose statute of limitations has ended.
Perhaps what is most disturbing to many of the women is that Weinstein would not be held liable for admitting any wrongdoing, and that he would not have to pay his accusers directly. Instead, the insurance companies that provide coverage to The Weinstein Co. would distribute $6.2 million to these 18 women. With this agreement, Harvey Weinstein does not technically admit or offer anything to these women directly, it all goes through a middle man.
“The case is interesting from a legal standpoint,” says Attorney Neal Goldstein of Goldstein and Bashner, “Because it sheds light on a claimant’s options of filing a separate lawsuit, or joining a class-action one. There is no definitive answer that covers every situation. Anyone that wishes to file a civil lawsuit against someone must speak to an attorney that can cover all of their options and advise on which is best for their particular situation.”
The women that believe the proposed settlement is too low have also stated that they chose to accept it because they thought it was the best deal they were going to be offered. Many of these women are hoping that the criminal justice system is harder on Weinstein than the civil legal system has been. Weinstein is currently out on a $2 million bail after it was found that he mishandled the electronic ankle monitor he is required to wear. He has currently pleaded not guilty and states than any sexual contact was consensual between him and the woman accusing him of rape. His trial is expected to begin in January.