US court approves $17 mn payout to Harvey Weinstein's accusers under the company liquidation plan

US Bankruptcy Court approved the plan, saying that without the settlement, Harvey Weinstein's accusers would get 'minimal, if any, recovery.'

FP Staff January 26, 2021 15:42:25 IST
US court approves $17 mn payout to Harvey Weinstein's accusers under the company liquidation plan

Harvey Weinstein. File image

A US Bankruptcy Court judge on Monday, 25 January, approved The Weinstein Co's liquidation plan, which sets aside $17 million for women who accused co-founder Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

Judge Mary Walrath approved the plan after a hearing in Delaware, saying that without the settlement, Weinstein's accusers would get "minimal, if any, recovery."

The $17 million fund will be divided among more than 50 claimants, with the most serious allegations resulting in payouts of $500,000 or more. The settlement was put to a vote of Weinstein's accusers, with 39 voting in favour and eight opposed, as reported by NBC.

The judge also overruled an objection from some accusers looking to pursue appeals outside of bankruptcy court. However, they will have the option to forgo most of their payout under the plan if they want to continue pursuing their claims.

Malrath noted that 83% of sexual misconduct claimants in the bankruptcy “have expressed very loudly that they want closure through acceptance of this plan, that they do not seek to have to go through any further litigation in order to receive some recovery, some possible recompense ... although it’s clear that money will never give them that.”

Ruby Liu, an attorney representing the objectors, argued Monday that the settlement fund is "meager" and that the deal deprives her clients of the opportunity to pursue Bob Weinstein and other directors in court, according to Variety.

The directors and officers, including Weinstein's brother, Bob, also received releases that absolve them of any potential liability for enabling Weinstein's conduct.

The Weinstein Co was set up as an independent film studio with the disgraced Hollywood mogul as one of its co-founders. The company collapsed in late 2017, following the disclosure of sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein.

(With inputs from agencies)

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