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Federal judge REJECTS $19million proposed settlement for Harvey Weinstein victims

Federal judge REJECTS $19million proposed settlement for Harvey Weinstein victims after accusers slammed the deal as a ‘cruel hoax’ that ‘absolves’ the disgraced movie mogul

  • Manhattan Judge Alvin K Heellerstein rejected the $19M proposal on Tuesday 
  • A several women involved in the class-action suit argued they’d receive $11.2M after deducting costs, with typical awards of just $10,000 to $20,000 each 
  • Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein’s insurers would be shielded  from big payouts

A federal judge has rejected a $19million proposed settlement for Harvey Weinstein’s accusers after several women slammed the deal as a ‘cruel hoax’ that would result in the disgraced movie mogul not paying a dime.   

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Heellerstein in Manhattan announced the move on Tuesday noting the accusers in the class-action suit were too varied to be grouped together.

‘Based on my studies of the papers, based on my study of the objection papers, and based on the flaws that I have already noted, I will not give preliminary approval to the settlement,’ he said.

Heellerstein told the plaintiff’s lead attorney Elizabeth Fagan that the deal would ‘create inequality’ among those involved, because not every woman was subjected to the same extent of sexual abuse, Deadline reported. 

On Monday six Harvey Weinstein accusers urged a judge to reject an $18.9million settlement presented on June 30, slamming it as a ‘cruel hoax’ where the disgraced movie mogul doesn’t take any accountability

The deal to settle the lawsuits, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James and the Chicago lawyer on behalf of multiple women, would have seen accusers claim $7,500 to $750,000 each. 

A spokesperson for James, who announced the tentative agreement on June 30, 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.

Lawyers for several women who had opposed the deal have praised what they described as Hellerstein’s swift rejection of a one-sided proposal.   

In a Manhattan federal court filing Monday, six women said the settlement would add up to a $11.2million payour after deducting legal fees and costs, while shielding the defendants’ insurers from big payouts. 

The opposition document was filed  by attorneys for accusers Wedil David, Dominique Huett, Kaja Sokola, Rowena Chiu, Zelda Perkins and Tarale Wulff, according to The Wrap.

They argued that the settlement ‘absolved’ Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein and the board of liability, while while setting aside another $15.2million to help cover their defense costs.

A spokesman for Weinstein did not immediately comment. A lawyer for his companies declined comment. 

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.