KEY POINTS

  • U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein threw out the proposed $18.9 million settlement between Harvey Weinstein and his accusers, saying it was unfair to the accusers
  • The settlement would have payed out between $10,000 and $20,000 to Weinstein's accusers while setting aside over $15 million to cover Weinstein's legal fees
  • Charges of rape and sexual assault are still pending against the disgraced movie mogul in Los Angeles

A federal judge in New York City threw out the proposed $18.9 million settlement for the alleged victims of sexual abuse or harassment by disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, saying it was not fair to the women in the case.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein threw out the proposed settlement Tuesday during a virtual hearing to discuss the preliminary settlement. He said the settlement treated Weinstein’s accusers “no different” than a woman he would have met randomly. He also voiced his anger at a plan to set money aside to cover the legal costs accrued by Weinstein and the board of his former production company, The Weinstein Company, during his trials.

Under its current iteration, Weinstein’s alleged victims would have received between $10,000 and $20,000, while over $15 million would be set aside to cover legal fees.

“The idea that Harvey Weinstein could get a defense fund ahead of the plaintiffs is obnoxious,” Hellerstein said at the hearing.

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, which filed the class-action suit against Weinstein for the alleged abuse and harassment, said it would be reviewing the decision.

“Our office has been fighting tirelessly to provide these brave women with the justice they are owed and will continue,” an office spokeswoman told reporters.

Attorneys for six of the women involved in the suit against Weinstein voiced their pleasure with Hellerstein’s decision in a joint press release, calling the settlement’s original terms “unfair” to Weinstein’s accusers.

“We were surprised that class counsel and the New York Attorney General did not recognize this fact but are pleased that Judge Hellerstein swiftly rejected the one-sided proposal,” attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor, Kevin Mintzer, and Bryan Arbeit said in the press release. “On behalf of our clients, we look forward to pursuing justice against Harvey Weinstein and his many enablers.”

Weinstein, 68, is currently appealing his conviction and 23-year prison sentence in New York City for rape and sexual assault. Separate rape and sexual assault charges are still pending against Weinstein in Los Angeles.

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein (pictured February 2020) is in prison in northern New York state after being sentenced to 23 years in jail for rape and sexual assault Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein (pictured February 2020) is in prison in northern New York state after being sentenced to 23 years in jail for rape and sexual assault Photo: AFP / Johannes EISELE