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Weinstein Company to file for bankruptcy after last-ditch survival talks fail

The company Harvey Weinstein co-founded has faced into financial ruin since the allegations were made against him.

Harvey Weinstein co-founded the company in 2005.
Harvey Weinstein co-founded the company in 2005.
Image: John Carucci/AP Photo

THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY’s board of directors says the company is expected to file for bankruptcy protection after last-ditch talks to sell its assets collapsed.

Now-disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein co-founded the company in 2005. He was fired last October after being accused of sexual assault and harassment by dozens of women.

The Weinstein Company has been searching for a financial saviour ever since while Weinstein has denied all allegations.

The Los Angeles Times reports  the board said last night it has no choice but to pursue bankruptcy.

A statement from the board said: “While we recognize that this is an extremely unfortunate outcome for our employees, our creditors and any victims, the board has no choice but to pursue the only viable option to maximize the company’s remaining value: an orderly bankruptcy process.”

The decision came after the board was unable to revive a deal to sell the struggling studio for about $500 million to an investor group.

As part of the pact, the bidders had promised to raise at least $40 million for a fund to compensate Weinstein’s accusers.

A proposed sale of the company was complicated after the state of New York said earlier this month it was suing the Weinstein Company for failing to protect staff.

State attorney general Eric Schneiderman said any deal should embody three principles: adequate compensation for victims, protection for employees and the removal of those people who were complicit in Weinstein’s misconduct for 12 years.

“They knew what was happening. It was flagrant. It was flamboyant. They knew how pervasive it was and not only did they fail to stop it, they enabled it and covered it up,” Schneiderman said.

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The New York lawsuit alleges that female assistants were required to facilitate Weinstein’s sex life as a condition of employment and clean up after his sexual encounters, even going so far as returning items of clothing left behind.

Prosecutors said Weinstein made verbal threats to “kill” several staff or their families, that assistants were taught “how to dress and smell more attractive” and that his drivers were required to keep condoms and erectile dysfunction injections in the car.

“While Mr Weinstein’s behaviour was not without fault, there certainly was no criminality,” his lawyer Ben Brafman hit back in response.

“At the end of the inquiry, it will be clear that Harvey Weinstein promoted more women to key executive positions than any other industry leader and there was zero discrimination,” he added.

With reporting from AFP

Read: Actress Emma Watson donates £1 million to kickstart new anti-sexual harassment campaign

Read: Gabriel Byrne says #MeToo movement ‘hasn’t gone far enough’

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