On Tuesday, June 30, the New York Attorney General's office announced that a group of Harvey Weinstein's alleged victims have been awarded a settlement in the sum of $18.875 million. As a result, this payout — which is currently awaiting approval by the bankruptcy and district courts — would resolve both the 2018 lawsuit against the Weinstein Company, Harvey, and his brother, Bob, for "maintaining a hostile work environment at the company," as well as the 2017 class action lawsuit brought on behalf of women who alleged that they were sexually harassed and assaulted by the former film producer.
"Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company failed their female employees. After all the harassment, threats and discrimination, these survivors are finally receiving some justice," Attorney General Letitia James said in a press release, as per People. James went on to call the agreement a "win for every woman who has experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation by her employer."
Once officially approved, the money will go toward a victims’ fund that will give Weinstein's accusers the opportunity to make claims for damages on a confidential basis. In addition, the settlement will also allow those women who had signed NDAs regarding Weinstein's sexual misconduct in the past to be released from those contracts, allowing them the freedom to share their stories without fear of repercussions.
However, not all of Weinstein's accusers are pleased with this agreement. In fact, some of the women who were not involved in this particular case believe the settlement to be a "complete sellout," according to their attorneys, Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, as per Variety. “While we do not begrudge any survivor who truly wants to participate in this deal, as we understand the proposed agreement, it is deeply unfair for many reasons," Wigdor and Mintzer said in a statement released on behalf of their clients. They went on expand on their complaints, explaining that, under this arrangement, "Weinstein accepts no responsibility for his actions" and that he "isn't paying any money toward the settlement despite now having been found guilty in Manhattan criminal court," among many other notable objections.
Meanwhile, Weinstein is currently in the process of serving his 23-year prison sentence in upstate New York after being convicted and found guilty of first-degree criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape in February. He is also potentially faces even more charges in an upcoming trial in Los Angeles.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.