Nine women who sued convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein reached a nearly $19 million settlement on Tuesday in the lawsuit that alleged the disgraced movie mogul was a serial sexual harasser and abuser, their lawyers and officials said.
The settlement, which will create a victims' fund for women who say they were abused by Weinstein, still needs approval in federal district court in New York City, according to a statement from law firm FeganScott LLP and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.
The suit, filed in November 2017, also accuses former officers and directors of The Weinstein Company of failing to prevent his misconduct.
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New York Attorney General Letitia James said an agreement would resolve a suit filed by her office two years ago that alleged Weinstein, his younger brother Robert and their company maintained a hostile work environment.
"We fought a long and grueling battle in the courtroom," Caitlin Dulany, one of nine plaintiffs in the suit, said in a statement provided by James' office. "Harvey avoided accountability for decades, and it was a powerful moment for us to band together and demand justice."
Lawyers for six other women who have also accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct called the settlement a "complete sellout," saying in a statement that it doesn't hold Weinstein or people who knew of his alleged misconduct accountable.
"We are completely astounded that the Attorney General is taking a victory lap for this unfair and inequitable proposal, and on behalf of our clients, we will be vigorously objecting in court," said the lawyers for those women, Douglas H. Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer.
The terms of the settlement allow victims to submit confidential claims describing their experiences and the impact of the misconduct. Payments for damages may range from $7,500 to $750,000.
An attorney for Weinstein, who still faces sex crimes charges from three separate incidents that allegedly occurred in Los Angeles, said he was focused on defending himself on outstanding legal matters.
"With closure in sight on one front, Mr. Weinstein remains intently focused in defending himself on all remaining legal matters, including the appeal of his criminal conviction, civil lawsuits, and the charges filed against him in L.A.," attorney Imran Ansari said in a statement Tuesday night. "He continues to pursue all legal recourse available to him and remains steadfast in the defense of those matters."
The announcement came roughly three months after Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for the rape of Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress, and one count of engaging in a criminal sexual act against Mimi Haley, a former "Project Runway" production assistant.
Weinstein is serving his sentence at a maximum-security prison in upstate New York.