A Federal Judge Has Rejected Harvey Weinstein's $19 Million Settlement Plea

A US judge rejected a proposed $18.9m (€16.5m) settlement of misconduct cases against abusive Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on Tuesday.

The fund would have typically awarded up to $15,000 ($13,000) to each claimant, whereas $15m (€13m) would have gone towards Weinstein's defence costs.

In what New York Times journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor (the Pulitzer-prize winning team who first wrote about the Weinstein scandals) describe as a "contentious" hearing on Tuesday morning, a federal judge rejected a proposed civil settlement in the sexual harassment cases against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Under the proposed deal, the 68-year-old would not have had to admit any wrongdoing or shell out his own money.

Instead, his accusers would have been paid out by insurance companies representing his former studio, The Weinstein Company, which filed for bankruptcy.

The fund – which would have been distributed between dozens of female claimants – would have typically awarded $10-15,000 to each claimant, with the additional $15m going towards Weinstein's defence costs. A far cry from the $90 million victims’ fund that was discussed last year.

The settlement also would have marked an end to nearly all of the civil claims against him, The Weinstein Company and several of its directors.

According to NBC, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein dismissed it for putting women who had merely met Weinstein on an almost equal footing with women who he had raped or sexually abused.

However various other accusers had called it unfair, saying it "absolved" Weinstein, his producer brother and the company board of liability.

Ahead of the hearing, lawyers Douglas H Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who represent six accusers, said: "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."

In March, Weinstein was sentenced today to 23 years in prison after jurors in his Manhattan trial found him guilty of a felony sex crime and rape but acquitted him of predatory sexual assault, the top two charges against him.

To date, more than 80 women from all over the world have accused him of sexual assault and harassment.

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