Harvey Winston, a well-known Hollywood producer jailed for raping and sexually abusing underage girls, has been fined 19 million in two lawsuits filed by several women.
According to foreign news agency Reuters, lawyers representing the six women who made the allegations against Harvey Winston called the proposed deal a “complete sale” for which the 68-year-old former film producer had to accept responsibility or No need to pay out of pocket.
The settlement, which still needs to be upheld by a federal judge and a bank rip-off court, resolves lawsuits filed against him, his production company and his brother in 2018 by the New York Attorney General’s Office.
New York Attorney General Leticia James said it would also end a separate class-action lawsuit filed in 2017 by nine women who accused the accused of sexual harassment or assault.
“After all the harassment, intimidation and discrimination, these victims are finally getting a form of justice,” he said in a statement on the social networking site Twitter.
She said the agreement would free women from non-disclosure agreements that prevented them from speaking publicly about Harvey Winston, Hollywood’s most powerful figure.
Whitney Cell, a lawyer representing the women who brought the cases to light in 2017, called her clients heroes who went public with their allegations and “started a movement.”
However, attorneys Douglas Vagdor and Kevin Montzer said the settlement was a “gross injustice” to their clients and other women, and that they would have no right to sue Harvey Winston and others.
“We are shocked that the Attorney General is declaring this unjust and unequal proposal a victory. We will strongly object to it in court on behalf of our clients,” he said in a written statement.
Harvey Winston was convicted in February in Manhattan Criminal Court of sexually abusing former production assistant Mimi Haley and raping actress Jessica Mann.
The sentences were hailed as a victory for the Hashtag Me Too movement, and the following month the former producer was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Harvey Winston, who has been accused of sexually abusing more than 100 women for decades, is still on trial in Los Angeles on charges of rape and sexual assault.
Harvey Winston has also been indicted by a US local court for sexual offenses and is currently out on bail.
In May, it was reported that Harvey Winston was close to reaching an agreement with several women in exchange for money, under which civil cases against them would be dropped.
It is not clear who the women who signed Harvey Winston are, but Hollywood actress Ashley Judd made it clear after the report came out that she was not among the women who signed the agreement.
In June, Madonna, a 60-year-old American singer, writer and director who became one of the world’s 25 most influential women and the most popular pop singer in the last century, revealed that she too had been sexually harassed.