January 18, 2021

Weinstein Company to file for bankruptcy

The New York studio co-founded by disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein is to file for bankruptcy after talks to sell its assets to an investor group collapsed, reports say.

Talks ended two weeks ago when the New York attorney general's office filed a lawsuit against the Weinstein Company.

Directors were quoted as saying bankruptcy was the only viable option.

Mr Weinstein faces dozens of allegations of sexual abuse, including rape, but denies non-consensual sex.

"The Weinstein Company has been engaged in an active sale process in the hopes of preserving assets and jobs," the board said in a statement reported by several US newspapers.

"Today, those discussions concluded without a signed agreement."

The statement said "an orderly bankruptcy process" was the "only viable option to maximise the company's remaining value".

The civil rights lawsuit against the company alleges that Mr Weinstein sexually harassed and abused women employed by the studio for years, as well as making verbal threats to kill staff members.

It accuses senior executives at the company, including Mr Weinstein's brother Robert, of failing to prevent the mistreatment of staff despite being presented with evidence.

Decades of allegations

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is seeking an unspecified sum to cover damages, plus penalties, for victims of alleged abuse.

A lawyer for Mr Weinstein has said a "fair investigation" will show that many of the allegations are without merit, while the company's board of directors has said many of the allegations relating to the board are "inaccurate".

The Weinstein Company: Biggest US box-office gross successes

  • Django Unchained (2012) ($162.8m)
  • The King's Speech (2010) ($138.8m)
  • Silver Linings Playbook (2012) ($132.1m)
  • Inglourious Basterds (2009) ($120.5m)
  • The Butler (2013) ($116.6m)

The allegations against Mr Weinstein first surfaced in October last year, when the New York Times published a story detailing decades of allegations of sexual harassment against Mr Weinstein.

Since then, more than 50 women, among them some of the biggest names in Hollywood, have accused the film producer of sexual assault, harassment, abuse and rape.

In the wake of the allegations, Mr Weinstein was sacked by the board of his company.

He is under investigation by UK and US police, but no criminal charges have been brought.

Mr Weinstein, who was once among the most powerful men in Hollywood, has admitted that his behaviour has "caused a lot of pain" but has described many of the allegations against him as "patently false".

Original Article

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