4:38pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Harvey Weinstein Settlement Will Go to Accusers for Vote
The latest version of a settlement that aims to bring an end to most claims against Harvey Weinstein from women who accuse him of sexual misconduct will be put before those accusers for a vote.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary F. Walrath on Tuesday approved the disclosure statement that will be sent to the women and the procedures that'll be used to solicit their responses.
This version of the settlement still includes a $17 million sexual misconduct claims fund, an $8.4 million liquidation trust settlement payment to cover bankruptcy claims not related to sexual misconduct, and about $9.7 million toward defense costs for former representatives of the company, not including Weinstein himself. And instead of getting its own line item for more than $1.1 million in legal fees for services rendered to the debtors prior to the petition, Seyfarth Shaw will become an unsecured creditor and receive a pro rata share of the liquidation trust.
A sexual misconduct claims examiner will review each claim that's filed, along with the documents and statements offered in support of it, and assign a "point award." Those points will be used to determine how much money each woman receives. (If Jane Doe's claim is assigned 10 points and the total points assigned across all claims is 100, she'd get 10 percent of the total victim's fund.)
Once a sexual misconduct claim is allowed, each accuser will have the choice whether or not to release all future claims against Weinstein. If a woman chooses to release him, she'll get what the examiner determines to be her full share. Those who choose not to release him will only receive 25 percent of the value assigned to their claim using the points system, and the rest will go to the insurance companies. (The deal includes a mandatory perpetual release of claims against The Weinstein Company and TWC board members and execs, including Bob Weinstein.)
Three different ballots will be used to determine whether the settlement has sufficient support to move forward — one for sexual misconduct claims, one for other tort claims and one for general unsecured claims. (Read the order and see the ballots in the document below.) The court can approve the plan if it's approved by at least two-thirds of the total voters and more than one-half of voters in each of the classes.
Ballots must be completed and delivered by 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 18.
Any objections to the settlement — of which there could be many given the extremely critical public response to earlier iterations of the deal — must also be submitted in writing to the court by Dec. 18.
A confirmation hearing is currently set for Jan. 14.