July 14 (UPI) — A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a proposed $19 million settlement between former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and dozens of women who have accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment.
The $18.9 million of the settlement would have gone toward a victim’s compensation fund, while another $12 million would pay legal fees for Harvey Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein and other members of the Weinstein Company’s board.
District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein called the money set aside for legal fees “obnoxious.”
The New York Times reported that the judge questioned the fairness of the settlement, whether the accusers represented a legal class and how the funds would be allocated to the alleged victims.
The settlement stems from a class action lawsuit filed in 2018 by more than 30 actors and former employees of the Weinstein Company. They accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and rape.
Under the terms of the settlement, he’s not required to admit to sexual misconduct and the plaintiffs would be released from any non-disclosure agreements.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office said it would review Hellerstein’s decision to determine the next steps.
“Our office has been fighting tirelessly to provide these brave women with the justice they are owed and will continue to do so,” spokeswomen Kelly Donnelly said.
Douglas H. Wigdor, an attorney for some of the plaintiffs, told CNN that the settlement was unfair.
“We were surprised that class counsel and the New York attorney general did not recognize this fact but are pleased that Judge Hellerstein swiftly rejected the one-sided proposal,” he said.
Harvey Weinstein is serving 23-year prison sentence following his conviction in February on criminal sexual conduct and rape charges in New York City. He also still faces criminal charges in California.
The accusations against Weinstein spearheaded the global #MeToo movement, which has since exposed a number of high-profile figures to similar complaints of sexual harassment or misconduct.