A bankruptcy court judge Monday confirmed a liquidation plan for the former Weinstein Co., which filed for Chapter 11 three years as disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein imploded in a sea of sexual abuse and harassment accusations.
Weinstein the man is currently serving a 23-year sentence for rape and assault at a correctional facility in upstate New York. The assets of his company were sold to a private equity firm with proceeds going to secured creditors. A group of unsecured trade creditors and Weinstein victims and their attorneys have been arguing over how divide what’s left, basically settlement money offered by insurance companies.
After years, earlier this month, a large majority of both agreed to accept the latest proposed settlement that includes $17 million for a sexual misconduct claims fund that will be divided among the women, and another $8.4 million for other bankruptcy claims.
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“The mess that Harvey Weinstein left behind has been very hard to clean up,” said attorney for the estate Paul Zumbro in his opening statement, insisting the agreement was the best compromise available to make sure all parties received some compensation.
Four abuse victims objected to the settlement, which would require them to release all future claims against Harvey Weinstein and former officers and directors of his company, including brother Bob Weinstein. They do have the option of accepting a lower payout — 25% of what they’d be entitled to, payout and still retain the right to go after Harvey in court, but no one else.
U.S. bankruptcy Judge in Delaware, Mary Walrath noted that “83% of Weinstein’s victims 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 to receive some recovery, some possible recompense for what was done to them, although it is clear that money alone will never give them that.”
“But I can only deal with the financial aspect of this and the bankruptcy code says that creditors should decide as a class how they want their claims to be treated,” she said, rendering her decision at the end of a two and half hour hearing.
Some 48 people with sexual misconduct claims cast ballots with 39 backing the deal. Four actively objected.