Judge Chucks Out Weinstein Settlement

Millions would have gone toward Weinstein's legal fees
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2020 6:15 PM CDT
Judge Chucks Out Weinstein Settlement
Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

A federal judge has chucked out a proposed settlement for Harvey Weinstein's accusers, saying it was "obnoxious" that millions of dollars would go toward legal fees for Weinstein, his brother Bob, and other members of The Weinstein Company's board. Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York denied the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement and said the women's sexual harassment and assault allegations were too varied for them to be considered a class, the New York Times reports. The BBC reports that the deal would have established an $18.8 million fund to settle claims from the dozens of women who accused Weinstein of misconduct, to be paid by insurance companies, but another $15 million of the $47 million settlement would have gone toward legal costs for Weinstein and others.

Victims would have received payouts averaging $10,000 to $15,000, according to the BBC. Last week, women who opposed the deal called it a "cruel hoax," noting that Weinstein would not have to accept responsibility for his actions—or make any payments. Lawyers for several women who opposed the deal praised Hellerstein's decision Tuesday, the AP reports. "We have been saying for over a year and a half that the settlement terms and conditions were unfair and should never be imposed on sexual assault survivors," the lawyers said in a statement released by attorney Douglas Wigdor. "On behalf of our clients, we look forward to pursuing justice against Harvey Weinstein and his many enablers." A spokesperson for New York Attorney General Letitia James said her office is considering its next steps. (More Harvey Weinstein stories.)

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