A bankruptcy judge has approved a plan to liquidate the Weinstein Company that allocates slightly more than $17 million to Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse victims.
The money will form a Sexual Misconduct Claims Fund, court documents stipulate. Each of the women will have a chance to submit a claim that will be evaluated by a designated examiner using a point system, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The disgraced Hollywood producer is currently serving out a 23-year prison sentence in New York state for sexually assaulting two women. He was convicted in March while continuing to maintain that all of his sexual encounters have been consensual.
Nearly 40 women with sexual abuse claims against Weinstein who were a part of the lawsuit voted to move forward with the plan earlier this month.
“I will not get into an analysis of whether one victim’s claim has more validity or more value than another’s,” Judge Mary Walrath said during a Monday hearing to approve the plan, per The Hollywood Reporter. “Every victim of Harvey Weinstein was victimized and deserves to have a say into the plan confirmation. If they choose not to release Mr. Weinstein, they have the right to have a jury trial.”
The judge noted that 83% of the women expressed “very loudly that they want closure through acceptance of this plan.”
An attorney for some of the victims, Beth Fegan, said in a statement to HuffPost that she believed the settlement “will benefit all victims” by providing “meaningful monetary compensation for their injuries in a confidential process.”
“Harvey Weinstein caused irremediable harm with his decades-long, predatory sexual abuse,” Fegan said. “Judge Walrath’s decision is the first step in bringing closure to his victims.”
An attorney for the Weinstein Company, Paul Zumbro, said in a statement to CNN that he and his clients are also “pleased” with Walrath’s ruling, “particularly so given there is now a mechanism that allows victims to receive compensation without having to endure the hardships and uncertainties of litigation.”
To obtain her full share of the claims fund, each woman must individually agree to release Weinstein from future claims. If she does not agree, her monetary compensation will be reduced to just 25%.
Lawyers for the handful of women who objected to the plan argued in court documents that the fund was “pathetically meager” and that the distribution scheme was unreasonable.
“There is nothing fair about a plan that requires a rape victim to release her rapist in order to receive a full reward from the sexual misconduct fund,” the attorneys wrote, according to The Associated Press.
HuffPost has reached out for comment to attorneys for the Weinstein Company but did not receive an immediate response.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter