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NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein and his former studio’s board have reached a nearly $19 million settlement with dozens of his sexual misconduct accusers, New York state’s attorney general and lawyers in a class-action lawsuit said Tuesday.

The agreement was announced by New York Attorney General Letitia James and Chicago attorney Elizabeth A.

Fegan.

The deal, if approved by judges in federal courts, would permit accusers to claim from $7,500 to $750,000 from the $18.8 million settlement.

The former Hollywood producer was convicted earlier this year of rape and sexual assault against two women. Accusations by dozens of women in 2017 destroyed his career and gave rise to #MeToo, the global movement to hold powerful men accountable for their sexual misconduct.

The 68-year-old former film producer was diagnosed in March with the coronavirus just days after he was moved to the state’s maximum security Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo to begin serving his 23-year prison sentence.

“This settlement is the culmination of several years of hard work by survivors who not only initiated the #MeToo movement around Weinstein, but also used their platforms to seek justice for all of those who were afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation in Hollywood,” Fegan said.

Included in the news release was a statement by plaintiff Caitlin Dulany, who said Weinstein isolated and assaulted her after they met in 1996 at the Cannes Film Festival.

“When I came forward and shared my story about the assault, I knew there wouldn’t be a straight path to justice,” Dulany said.

“Harvey avoided accountability for decades, leveraging his power to hide behind a web of deceit, and I was determined to join the class action to ensure meaningful change for all survivors,” she said. “I am proud that this settlement will help so many women who are long overdue for justice and relief.”

James said in a release that the deal would resolve claims in a New York state lawsuit and in a class-action lawsuit that was pending in federal court.

“After all the harassment, threats, and discrimination, these survivors are finally receiving some justice,” James said.

She called it “a win for every woman who has experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation by her employer.”

Gerald Maatman, lead counsel for the Weinstein Companies, declined comment.

Messages seeking comment were left for Weinstein and individuals on his former studio’s board.

Attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who represent some of Weinstein’s accusers in lawsuits, said in a statement that the proposed settlement was “a complete sellout of the Weinstein survivors.”

They called it “deeply unfair,” saying it does not require Weinstein to accept responsibility and doesn’t require him to pay any money toward it. They also said the director defendants will receive millions of dollars to reimburse their defense costs.

The lawyers said the deal would also harm women who do not join the settlement because they would be unable to pursue large amounts of money from insurance companies which would receive protection from the deal.

“We are completely astounded that the Attorney General is taking a victory lap for this unfair and inequitable proposal, and on behalf of our clients, we will be vigorously objecting in court,” the lawyers said.

News Source: Associated Press

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Kurtenbach: Mahomes mega-deal proves the 49ers gave Jimmy Garoppolo the right contract

The Kansas City Chiefs waited decades for a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes.

So it only made sense for the team to lock him up for 10 years.

Mahomes and the Chiefs agreed to a decade-long contract Monday worth a whopping, hard-to-believe-but-all-too-real $503 million, according to NFL Network, with $477 million in something they called “guarantee mechanisms”. If all of those guarantees are paid, it will be the largest contract ever for a player in a North American team sport.

And given the way Mahomes’ first two years as an NFL starter have gone, it’s impossible to argue that the Chiefs have done wrong with this massive contract.

Every NFL team needs a quality quarterback to win, and the best quarterback a team can have is one like Mahomes: young, obscenely talented, wildly prolific, and above all else, a winner.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here: Mahomes is Steph Curry. He’s a revolution. He’s the franchise. Yes, there are risks for the Chiefs in signing a player to a 10-year contract, even in the NFL, but when you have a once-in-a-generation player like Mahomes, you pay him whatever he wants and you see how far he can take you.

The 49ers do not have a quarterback like Mahomes at the helm — we saw that in the Super Bowl. But the Mahomes mega-deal highlighted how well San Francisco did when they signed Jimmy Garoppolo to his five-year, $137.5 million deal in early 2018.

Because if you don’t have a player like Mahomes (or a player you can delude yourself into thinking is in his same class), the best thing to have is a quarterback who wins games playing on a contract that provides both security and flexibility to the team that employs him.

When Garoppolo signed with the Niners, he had only started five games for them. The contract — at the time the largest in NFL history — was a risk for the Niners. But a little more than two years later, the deal looks like an absolute bargain.

Just a quick reminder: Garoppolo, even with his well-established flaws, has a 21-6 record at the helm of the 49ers’ offense and led his team to a showdown with Mahomes’ Chiefs in last year’s Super Bowl. He’s pretty good. And a little more than two years after signing a record deal, he isn’t even one of the 10 highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL.

But while the value of Garoppolo’s deal is strong for San Francisco, the flexibility his deal provides is even better for the team.

The Niners have the ability to release Garoppolo in the coming years with little to no friction should his performances dip or if the team decides they’re better off going in another direction ($2.8 million dead-cap hit in 2021, $1.4 million hit in 2022). Perhaps head coach Kyle Shanahan feels the next Mahomes is available in next year’s draft, or maybe the Niners — who considered signing Tom Brady this past offseason — decide a more veteran quarterback is a better play for them long-term.

And it should be noted that the Niners could have extended Garoppolo this offseason — it would have made it easier to sign tight end George Kittle to a contract extension, or perhaps even kept DeForest Buckner in Santa Clara. To my knowledge, the Niners did not present such an offer to Garoppolo.

Now, the Chief’s record-setting contract more than re-set the quarterback market — it broke it down and built a new one. That could benefit Garoppolo should he get another deal from San Francisco.

But I imagine the Niners will try to ride out this deal for as long as they can.

Because while I don’t think Garoppolo is going anywhere anytime soon — I’m not sure the Niners can do better than him — in a salary-capped NFL where there’s seemingly never enough money to pay all your good players, it’s never a good idea to be fully beholden to someone.

Unless, of course, that someone is Mahomes.

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