Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, an accused in rape and sexual assault cases, has reached a provisional $44 million settlement with alleged victims and creditors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The deal, which has not yet been signed, aims to cover all civil proceedings filed against the fallen Hollywood mogul, including those in Canada and the United Kingdom. The settlement does not exempt Weinstein from the criminal proceedings brought against him for sexual assault, for which he will go on trial in September.
Weinstein - a catalyst for the #MeToo anti-harassment movement - has been charged for the alleged assaults of two women and faces life in prison if he is convicted at the trial, which could last five weeks.
The deal, if finalised, would resolve a civil rights lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general’s office last year that accuses Weinstein Co’s executives and board of failing to protect employees from a hostile work environment and Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, the Journal said.
A representative for Harvey Weinstein and Weinstein Co did not immediately respond to request for comment. Weinstein has previously denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.
Weinstein, who won plaudits and awards through his company and another studio, Miramax, for movies including "Shakespeare in Love,” "Pulp Fiction” and "The King’s Speech, fell from grace after more than 70 women, mostly young actresses and others in the movie business, accused him of sexual misconduct dating back decades. Among his accusers are prominent actresses such as Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek.
As the accusations against Weinstein mounted, his company Weinstein Co fired him and filed for bankruptcy, and he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
His case helped launch the #MeToo movement, which has led to dozens of powerful men in entertainment, politics and other fields being accused of sexual misconduct.