NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s lawyer common mentioned on Monday a deal for the Weinstein Firm ought to embody an even bigger compensation fund for victims of ex-chairman Harvey Weinstein, talking a day after the state’s lawsuit scuttled a deal.
The movie and TV studio was near inking a deal on Sunday to promote itself for greater than $500 million to an investor group led by Maria Contreras-Candy, a former official in President Barack Obama’s administration, when New York Legal professional Basic Eric Schneiderman filed a civil rights lawsuit in opposition to the corporate. Individuals accustomed to the matter mentioned the lawsuit put sale negotiations on maintain.
Schneiderman mentioned he desires the “details of our criticism factored into no matter deal is structured going ahead.” The lawsuit doesn’t block the sale however creates liabilities that make it tough to finalize. A sale to Contreras-Candy is now unlikely to advance, sources advised Reuters.
The Weinstein Firm didn’t instantly return a request for remark. A consultant for Contreras-Candy declined to remark.
The Weinstein Firm has been searching for a deal that may spare it from chapter after greater than 70 girls accused Harvey Weinstein, as soon as one among Hollywood’s most influential males, of sexual misconduct together with rape. Weinstein denies having non-consensual intercourse with anybody.
Schneiderman mentioned at a press convention on Monday that he needed to make sure a devoted sufferer’s compensation fund that may not be wolfed up by authorized charges and different bills. Contreras-Candy had proposed about $30 million for victims in her preliminary bid made late final yr, Reuters reported. (reut.rs/2iAmw2O)
A sale must also not reward executives together with Chief Working Officer David Glasser, who supervised the human sources division and was in command of dealing with dozens of complaints, Schneiderman mentioned. Contreras-Candy’s supply known as for Glasser to be the CEO of the brand new firm, Schneiderman mentioned.
The corporate by no means launched an investigation into any of the complaints, he mentioned. The lawsuit says that the Weinstein Firm’s board and executives didn’t take motion after receiving complaints about harassment and discrimination from staff.
“The Weinstein Firm repeatedly broke the legislation,” Schneiderman mentioned on Monday. “It’s clear to us that the corporate’s administration was complicit. Not solely did they fail to cease it, they enabled it and coated it up.”
Different bidders for The Weinstein Firm have included Lions Gate Leisure Corp (LGFa.N) and manufacturing firm Killer Content material Inc. Killer Content material mentioned in January that chapter could also be the best choice for The Weinstein Firm.
The New York Instances first reported in October on a number of allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. Reuters has not been capable of independently verify the allegations.
Since then, comparable allegations have been leveled in opposition to many highly effective males in enterprise, politics and leisure, and the #MeToo motion has emerged of victims utilizing social media to share their tales of harassment and abuse.
Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Jessica DiNapoli; Modifying by Cynthia Osterman