Weinstein Company could face bankruptcy

Buyer withdraws following lawsuit

by Jennie Kermode

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein Photo: Georges Biard

Following yesterday's announcement that New York state is to sue the Weinstein Company over violation of civil rights, human rights and business law, Maria Contreras-Sweet has withdrawn her bid to purchase the company. The deal, worth $500M, was widely considered to be vital to the company's survival, and it could now face bankruptcy.

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman had expressed concern that the terms of the deal could leave victim of alleged sexual offences committed by Harvey weinstein without adequate means of redress. "Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, and that neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched," he said in a statement.

Schneiderman's office is reportedly investigating the possibility that the company's board agreed a deal that let Harvey Weinstein keep his job after ngotiating individual settlements with women who complained that he sexually harrassed them. If this is the case, it could potentially make board members culpable in suits concerning alleged sexual offences committed by Weinstein in his role with the company after that time.

There is now a strong possibility that the company will be forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Up to 200 jobs are believed to be at risk.

Harvey Weinstein himself is believed to be still undergoing treatment at the Meadows centre in Wickenburg, Arizona. He has acknowledged that he has a problem with his behaviour though he denies all the charges made against him. Kevin Spacey also became a resident at the Meadows, in November.

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