March 1 (Reuters) - Former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet said on Thursday that she had reached an agreement with the New York State Attorney General's office to purchase assets from the Weinstein Company in order to launch a new firm.
In a statement, Contreras-Sweet said her plan was still to build a movie studio led by a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women, save about 150 jobs, protect the small businesses that are owed money and create a victims' compensation fund that will supplement existing insurance coverage for those who have been harmed.
The Weinstein Company had been close to inking an agreement last month to be taken over by investors led by Contreras-Sweet for more than $500 million. But a lawsuit filed on Feb. 11 by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman complicated the negotiations. The company had said on Monday it planned to file for bankruptcy.
The Weinstein Company suffered a major blow after more than 70 women accused Weinstein, once one of Hollywood's most influential men, of sexual misconduct including rape. Weinstein denies having non-consensual sex with anyone. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis)