In October of last year, Harvey Weinstein, former film producer and co-founder of Miramax, a major entertainment company, became embroiled in scandal when he was accused of sexually harassing, molesting or raping numerous women over a period of 30 years. The political repercussions of the case are still being felt in the current increased awareness of sexual harassment and abuse that women face in the workplace and in society in general.
By: Anat Ghelber
Now, his supposed victims will have to face the fact that, despite bringing their cases to court and being willing to testify, any damages they would receive are being significantly reduced by legal fees, including Harvey Weinstein’s, none of which he has to pay himself. Mr. Weinstein’s attorneys are looking to make as much as $14 million. The entire supposed settlement for those who’ve brought Mr. Weinstein past behavior to light is $44 million, with a majority of those victims apparently receiving an average of only $60,000, according to a report by the New York Post.
Among the alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein’s advances are actress Paz de La Huerta, who appeared on the HBO show “Boardwalk Empire” and Alexandra Canosa, a producer with Netflix. They, and as many as 150 other women, are reportedly going to have to divide what will remain of the legal settlement once fees for legal services for both the defendant and plaintiff have been paid off. As one supposed victim stated about the low settlement money that will be paid out, “It’s insulting. It’s particularly insulting that he doesn’t even have to pay his own lawyer’s fees. He gets to walk away without any consequences.”
Harvey Weinstein will not have to pay either his legal fees nor any of the money for legal settlement, with the fees coming out of the damages settlement, and that being covered by insurance agencies who provide coverage for both the Weinstein Co. and Miramax, the entertainment company he once ran.
With $14 million of the legal settlement money being allocated to pay off defendant’s legal costs and another $8 million to plaintiff’s legal fees, the remainder of the money will have to be distributed to 150 different women who are involved in the class action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein.
According to an anonymous source close to the negotiations being held, “The defendants are using what could be victim funds to pay their legal fees despite many of them being billionaires.”
It’s also been revealed that women who filed single lawsuits themselves against Harvey Weinstein, as opposed to the class action lawsuit previously mentioned, will receive up to $500,000 each. There are up to 18 of these supposed victims located in the U.S. United Kingdom, and Canada.
The balance of the legal damages will total $9 million after all is said and done, which will have to be split up among the remaining 150 women involved in the class action lawsuit.