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Time’s Up Criticizes ‘Flawed’ Weinstein Settlement

Gene Maddaus

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Time’s Up issued a statement on Wednesday criticizing the proposed settlement in the Harvey Weinstein civil cases, saying they are the product of a “broken system.”

Weinstein has reached a tentative $25 million deal with most of his accusers, including the plaintiffs in a class action suit. The women with the most serious claims would be awarded $500,000, with a lesser amount going to a broader group of plaintiffs.

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“This settlement is more than a math problem — it’s a symptom of a problematic, broken system that privileges powerful abusers at the expense of survivors,” said Time’s Up chief operating officer Rebecca Goldman. “While this settlement is flawed, we know it represents the hard work of several survivors of Harvey Weinstein. We hope it brings them, and perhaps others, some small measure of justice and relief that is long overdue. Today and every day, Time’s Up is in solidarity with the more than 80 survivors who bravely spoke out against Weinstein, catalyzing a worldwide reckoning for justice. With them, we will continue to fight until sexual harassment and assault at work are gone for good.”

The money for the settlement comes from the Weinstein Co.’s insurance carriers, which had issued policies covering the firm’s directors and officers in case of work-related liability. Another $12 million will go to pay attorney fees for Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein and the other board members.

Elizabeth Fegan, the lead attorney in the class action complaint, defended the settlement.

“It is important to recognize that while there is a great deal of attention focused on the proposed settlement, it is not a final settlement and it would be inappropriate for me, or for anyone involved in the litigation, to talk about specifics,” she said. “What I can say is that the women who brought this suit forward and persevered against long odds are the heroes of this case, especially considering that the defendant went to every extreme to discredit them. Since we filed the case in November 2017, we’ve fought to forge a meaningful settlement against strong headwinds. And no matter what amount of money the survivors ultimately receive, the civil settlement will do little to reverse the damage Weinstein caused to so many.”

“Fortunately, he is facing his criminal trial, and everyone involved in this civil case is buoyed that the prosecutors can benefit from what we’ve uncovered in our 24 months of litigation. Since this case was filed, we’ve heard from so many women in unrelated cases, telling us stories that makes one question why boards of directors and others in a position of authority sit mute, as they did in this case. I believe we need to change the way that we deal with those who permit abuse. Once we are able to finalize the settlement and receive the court’s approval, I will have a great deal more to say.”

At least four plaintiffs are not participating in the settlement, and will continue to pursue Weinstein’s personal assets. A bankruptcy judge must also give approval to the agreement, which at least two attorneys are planning to oppose.

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