Weinstein reaches settlement with accusers: NY Times

Harvey Weinstein arriving at New York Supreme Court on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters
Harvey Weinstein arriving at New York Supreme Court on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters
Harvey Weinstein and the board of his bankrupt film studio have reportedly reached a tentative settlement with dozens of women who accused the former Hollywood producer of sexual misconduct.

The New York Times cited lawyers involved in the negotiations on Wednesday and said the settlement was as much as $US25 million ($NZ37.8 million).

If accepted, the accord would end nearly all lawsuits by actresses and former Weinstein employees who accused him of offences ranging from sexual harassment to rape, the newspaper said.

The 67-year-old would not be required under the settlement to admit wrongdoing or pay anything, and insurers for the former Weinstein Co studio would fund the payout, it added.

Representatives for Weinstein declined to comment.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct dating back decades by more than 70 women.  He has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters were consensual.

According to the Times, accusers involved in the tentative accord would make their claims in bankruptcy court, and the $US25 million payout would be part of a $US47 million settlement to close out the studio's obligations.

The litigation is separate from criminal charges that Weinstein faces in New York, where prosecutors have accused him of sexually assaulting two women, one in 2006 and another in 2013.

A trial is scheduled for January 6 next year, and Weinstein could face life in prison if convicted on the top counts.

Weinstein used a walker to enter the courthouse for a bail hearing on Wednesday, and is scheduled to have back surgery on Thursday.

Through his namesake studio and his original Miramax studio, Weinstein became one of Hollywood's most powerful executives, powering a string of films to Oscar gold, including Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love and The King's Speech.

The accusations that surfaced against him in October 2017 helped spark the #MeToo movement, where hundreds of women have accused powerful men in entertainment, business, media, politics and other fields of sexual misconduct.

The reported settlement drew criticism from Doug Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, lawyers for two of Weinstein's accusers.

In a joint statement, they said the accord would pay too much to lawyers and too little to victims, and might excuse the studio's insurers and board from liability to victims who choose not to participate.

"While we don't begrudge victims who want to settle, we plan to vigorously object to any provision that tries to bind victims who want to proceed with holding Harvey Weinstein accountable for his actions," they said.