Disgraced film executive and convicted rapist, Harvey Weinstein, has been ordered to pay-out $17million to his accusers by a US bankruptcy judge.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault by over 50 women and is currently in a New York state prison after his 23-year sentence for the heinous crimes began last year. The executive was found guilty for counts of a Criminal Sexual Act in the first-degree and third-degree rape. This sum of money that has been awarded to Weinstein’s victims is to be taken from the liquidation of his production company, Weinstein Co.
The production company previously filed for bankruptcy in 2018. During proceedings, judge Mary Walrath stated that 83 per cent of claimants “have expressed very loudly that they want closure through acceptance of this plan, that they do not seek to have to go through any further litigation in order to receive some recovery, some possible recompense… although it’s clear that money will never give them that”.
Walrath also explained why the payout was necessary and revealed that without it, the women who came forward would receive “minimal, if any, recovery.” 47 of Weinstein’s accusers voted on the settlement, with 39 voting in favour and eight against. The victims who came forward with the most serious allegations will receive a minimum of $500,000 (£365,817.50) from his estate.
The group of 24 women who bravely came forward to speak about Weinstein’s assaults are known as the Silence Breakers. They include Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Rosanna Arquette and Lauren Sivan.
In a statement, the Silence Breakers have said: “Harvey Weinstein’s legacy will always be that he’s a convicted rapist. He is going to jail — but no amount of jail time will repair the lives he ruined, the careers he destroyed, or the damage he has caused.”