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#MeToo: Judge rejects Harvey Weinstein's settlement with survivors

The sexual offender and former Hollywood mogul was sentenced in March to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.

Our Correspondent

An American judge has turned down sexual offender Harvey Weinstein’s civil settlement, which varies at anywhere from $18 million to $46 million according to different reports, for sexual harassment and abuse.

The former Hollywood movie mogul was sentenced in March this year to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault. He is still to face trial in some other lawsuits on the West Coast.

Yesterday, US district judge Alvin Hellerstein rejected the fund which would have compensated over 100 women who accused Weinstein of different sexual crimes. Hellerstein also questioned the class-action lawsuit against Weinstein which he felt was unequal and didn't meet the requirements of a legal class suit.

“What is there to make me believe that a person who just met Harvey Weinstein has the same claim as the person who is raped by Harvey Weinstein?” Hellerstein said in his 18-minute telephone hearing.

If the settlement had been accepted, all civil suits against the former producer, his production house The Weinstein Company and its directors would have ended. Each claimant would have received about $10,000–15,000, while around $12-15 million would have gone towards Weinstein’s legal costs. The money for the proposed settlement was to have come from insurance companies.

"The idea that Harvey Weinstein can get a defence fund ahead of the claimants is obnoxious,” judge Hellerstein said.

The rejection was welcomed by some of Weinstein’s accusers, who called the settlement a “cruel hoax”. Lawyers for six of Weinstein's accusers had filed an objection to the proposal, hoping to pin more responsibility on Weinstein, who, they felt, should make the payment personally and not get insurance companies to foot the bill.

Related topics

Sexual harassment