Women drop class action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein and Company
Three women have dropped a sex trafficking lawsuit against the vicious film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, three Weinstein victims – Louisette Geiss, Sarah Ann Thomas and Melissa Thompson – have voluntarily agreed to dismiss their claims against the longtime producer and convicted sexual predator.
The plaintiffs, the reporter said, tried to bring class action lawsuits against Weinstein and people who allegedly supported and aided his misconduct. Not only did they accuse Weinstein and his cohorts of sex trafficking, but they also alleged the producer was involved in some form of sexual blackmail.
However, their efforts and ambitions were quickly dashed by a court of law.
In April 2019, US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein “gutted” the emerging class and denied 17 of the 18 claims in the lawsuit – with only the plaintiffs’ sex trafficking claims remaining intact.
Meanwhile, Weinstein Co.’s insurers began working out a billing plan. It provisionally contained up to $ 17 million in funds for Weinstein’s victims, despite the Weinstein Co. filing for bankruptcy.
However, the insurance company, according to The Hollywood Reporter, has no authority to convince victims to drop their claims against the company.
Rather than attempting to assist the Weinstein Co.’s legal defense, the insurers offered several plaintiffs the option of filing claims from the victim’s fund to drop their lawsuits.
Numerous Hollywood actresses, including Salma Hayek (pictured), have accused Weinstein of using his power in the film industry to obtain sexual favors. Hayek claims she was forced to participate in a nude scene in the film ‘Frida’ after rejecting Weinstein’s advances. Image via Festival Internacional de Cine and Guadalajara via Wikimedia Commons. (CCA-BY-2.0).
Under the preliminary settlement plan, victims could register complaints with the fund. Upon receiving their complaints, an impartial body would assign a certain number of points to each case, which would determine the reward for an individual victim.
While women with active litigation would still be eligible to enroll in the fund, they would only be eligible for 25% of the potential award.
Interestingly, Geiss, Thomas and Thompson decided to drop their class action lawsuit with one qualification. If they do not receive a payment from the Weinstein Victim Fund within 120 days, they reserve the right to reopen the litigation.
The recorder notes that many other women are still pending lawsuits against Weinstein and various Weinstein Co. executives.
Victims and advocates of victim rights criticized the deal proposed by insurers, saying it protected senior members of the Weinstein Co.
According to USA Today, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison in New York State last March. He remains the only high-profile Hollywood figure to be indicted and successfully convicted of sexual extortion, harassment, and assault against women in the industry.
Last month, Weinstein’s legal team said they were busy preparing an appeal to win their client’s early release.
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