A federal judge has rejected a proposed $18.8 million settlement that Harvey Weinstein and his former studio’s board reached with dozens of his sexual misconduct accusers, attorneys said Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Heellerstein in Manhattan said Weinstein’s accusers in the proposed class-action settlement were too varied to be grouped together.
The tentative deal, originally announced late last month, would have permitted accusers to claim between $7,500 and $750,000 from the settlement. New York Attorney General Letitia James said at the time that the deal would resolve claims in a New York state lawsuit and in a class-action lawsuit pending in federal court.
Attorneys for at least a half-dozen accusers said they were pleased with the judge's decision to reject what they described as a "one-sided proposal."
“We have been saying for over a year and a half that the settlement terms and conditions were unfair and should never be imposed on sexual assault survivors," attorneys Douglas Wigdor, Kevin Mintzer and Bryan Arbeit, who represent a number of victims, said in a joint statement. "On behalf of our clients, we look forward to pursuing justice against Harvey Weinstein and his many enablers.”
A spokesman for Weinstein did not immediately comment. A lawyer for his companies declined comment.
A spokesperson for James said her office is reviewing the decision and determining its next steps.
“Our office has been fighting tirelessly to provide these brave women with the justice they are owed and will continue to do so,” Morgan Rubin said in a written statement.
The 68-year-old former Hollywood producer was convicted earlier this year of rape and sexual assault against two women. Accusations by dozens of women in 2017 led to the downfall of his career and gave rise to #MeToo, the global movement to hold powerful men accountable for their sexual misconduct.
Weinstein was diagnosed in March with the coronavirus just days after he was moved to the state’s maximum security Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo to begin serving his 23-year prison sentence.