Whatever the outcome, the Weinstein lawsuits have loaded significance for the #MeToo movement
Harvey Weinstein may soon settle the 15 lawsuits charging him with sexual harassment.
On Thursday, Weinstein's lawyer, Adam Harris, reportedly told a bankruptcy judge that a $44 million deal had been proposed. More than 80 women have spoken out about Weinstein's misconduct, including high profile actresses and models from Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, and Angelina Jolie to Gwyneth Paltrow and Cara Delevingne. Weinstein's public defaming helped launch the #MeToo movement, which instigated a cultural shift to closely scrutinize abuses of power in the entertainment industry and beyond.
But $44 million is hardly enough to answer for Weinstein's misdeeds. According to NPR's sources, "that $44 million is not coming from Harvey Weinstein himself, it's actually coming from insurance policies." The details of the proposal stipulate that about $30 million would be split between his alleged victims, the bankrupted Weinstein Company's creditors, and former employees of the studio. The relatively paltry offer is Weinstein's second attempt to settle the lawsuits. Last year, a proposed deal awarded the victims $90 million, but it fell through at the last moment.
As for Weinstein, 67, he has not commented on the latest offer to settle. He's pleaded not guilty to all accusations and consistently denied any wrongdoing. Paz de la Huerta, an actress who shared her account of Weinstein assaulting her with Vanity Fair in 2017, weighed in on the potential settlement through her lawyer, Aaron Filler. "It's been a long complex process and we do feel this settlement provides a measure of justice, though it's not everything one might hope for and it reflects a long effort to reach a compromise between different parties that have claims to some of the money from the whole Weinstein enterprise," Filler told The New York Times.
Huerta, 33, alleged that Weinstein raped her in two incidents in 2010. According to Vanity Fair, "The actress said she had been drinking, and was frightened by Weinstein, who had been repeatedly calling her, despite her asking him to leave her alone. 'He hushed me and said, 'Let's talk about this in your apartment,' de la Huerta said. 'I was in no state. I was so terrified of him...I did say no, and when he was on top of me I said, 'I don't want to do this.'"
Whatever the outcome, the Weinstein lawsuits have loaded significance for the #MeToo movement. As The New York Times points out, "The details of any settlement—such as whether it includes an admission of wrongdoing by Mr. Weinstein—would carry significant symbolism." A judge will decide whether or not to approve the $44 million settlement on June 4.
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