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$44m deal close in Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct lawsuits

24 May 2019

Adam Harris, a lawyer for the studio co-founder Bob Weinstein told a judge that "an economic agreement in principle" had been reached, the Associated Press news agency reports.

"But", he added, "I personally am very optimistic".

The deal, which has not yet been signed, aims to cover all civil proceedings filed against the fallen Hollywood mogul, including those in Canada and the United Kingdom, the Wall Street Journal reported. The settlement would cover many of them, including a class action by alleged victims that accuses the film company of operating like an organized crime group to hide widespread sexual harassment and assaults.

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More than 15 misconduct lawsuits have been filed against Harvey Weinstein or the company, but the disgraced Hollywood film producer has since denied sexually assaulting two women and is due to go on trial in NY in September.

The Attorney General's Office, which sued the Weinstein Co. for gender discrimination in February 2018, was initially pushing for a victims' fund of $90 million before the company went bankrupt.

Harvey Weinstein returns from lunch to State Supreme Court, in New York, April 26, 2019.

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The Journal said the proposed agreement would not affect a criminal case pending against Mr. Weinstein in Manhattan, in which he has been charged with rape and other sex crimes. His trial is scheduled to begin in September. Mr. Weinstein has previously denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

An attorney who represents unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy of the Weinstein film studio, Robert Feinstein, told U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Walrath that mediation talks that had broken down a few months ago had recently been restarted.

He is said to be close to settling lawsuits brought against the television and film company co-founded by Weinstein.

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"I don't want to overstate the likelihood, because there's still some challenges to the plan", he said, but he said that the offer was "globally approved by the mediation parties" and that "I think we owe it to the process to give this a try".

$44m deal close in Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct lawsuits