Weinstein Company Files For Bankruptcy, Allows Women To Speak Out About Abuse

Mar 22, 2018, 01:38
Weinstein Company Files For Bankruptcy, Allows Women To Speak Out About Abuse

Lantern would purchase substantially all of the assets of the company. Lantern is looking to acquire Weinstein Co. through the bankruptcy process.

Attempts to reach the company on March 20 were not immediately successful. The offer from Lantern will set the floor for higher and better bidders in a court-supervised auction. The Weinstein Co. does have $30 million in employment practices insurance coverage, which would still potentially be available.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has brought suit against The Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein and his brother, Bob Weinstein, issued a statement praising the announcement.

The company also agreed to release any women who settled sexual harassment claims involving the company from their non-disclosure agreements, freeing them to tell their stories without fear of being sued.

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Weinstein finally got his comeuppance last November when The New York Times published an expose quoting a number of women who had been assaulted by the movie mogul. He has spent recent months seeking treatment for sex addiction and anger management, according to his representatives.

Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, a dean at the Yale School of Management, said the allegations against Harvey Weinstein were not the company's only problem. But when the deal seemed like it had been finalized, the investor group suddenly pulled out after it "uncovered new information about previous undisclosed liabilities" with the Weinstein Company. The company unsuccessfully courted several potential buyers; the effort ended with Monday night's bankruptcy filing.

The investor group, managed by Maria Contreras-Sweet, who ran the Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama, had offered to pay off what it believed was the Weinstein Co.'s debt - about $225 million.

It is still possible that Schneiderman's office could press Lantern to make a similar commitment, using an ongoing discrimination lawsuit as leverage to extract that concession. "The company regrets that it can not undo the damage Harvey Weinstein caused, but hopes that today's events will mark a new beginning", the company said.

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The bankruptcy filing states that the Weinstein Co. has less than $500,000 cash on hand, which raises questions on how the alleged Weinstein victims will be paid.

This week's NY magazine features a story questioning why D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. hasn't prosecuted Weinstein.

Back in October, The New Yorker released an audio recording of Weinstein speaking with young model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez as part of a 2015 sting operation.

It also follows revelations the producer had an alleged obsession with star Michelle Williams and used to show up unannounced when she was filming nude scenes, according to former colleagues who spoke out in an explosive documentary.

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