Many individuals who have accused Harvey Weinstein, the well-known Hollywood producer, of rape on multiple accounts are frustrated over a potential settlement that has been offered. This is because, despite its significant dollar figure, the settlement would not force any public admittance from Weinstein over his alleged acts.
Specifically, Weinstein’s film studio’s insurance company would pay the women, instead of forcing him to pay out of pocket. This proposed settlement would pay $6.2 million to the 18 women who accused Weinstein, as well as $18.5 million to a settlement fund for a class action lawsuit. Some accusers feel that this is their best option, although many are not happy about the terms of the settlement.
Zoe Brock, one of Weinstein’s accusers, said in a statement that the settlement breaks her heart, but feels at this point that she has no alternative legal recourse. She added that she hopes Weinstein will be found guilty for his crimes in criminal court instead. Zoe is not alone, as lawyers representing other accusers have released similar statements about the opposition of their clients.
In one, a lawyer stated that the accusers have an unfair choice in front of them: either get paid or possibly lose in court. Two more lawyers who also represent accusers, Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, released a statement objecting to the settlement, and further claiming that they vigorously object to any settlement. They went on to say that if the accusers accept settlement money, they will not be able to proceed with holding Weinstein truly accountable.
This proposed settlement took roughly two years to organize. However, for Weinstein to not be required to admit his wrongdoing, or to pay his accusers any money, the judges assigned to these cases would first have to approve this proposal. “It is difficult to say if victims should accept this settlement given the lack of accountability proposed,” said criminal defense attorney Meghan Gosline of Meghan Gosline Attorney at Law. “But it is not difficult to understand why some would accept it, as the money is a sure thing.”
Details of the settlement first came from Catlin Dulaney, one of the accusers interviewed on NBC News. She said that Weinstein had negotiated a settlement for almost all of the civil cases against him, amounting to $47 million. $12 million will go to the lawyers representing accused board members — which many feel is unjust — while $25 million will go directly to the accusers. How it will be divided among them, however, has not yet been disclosed.