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By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press

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.


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.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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ESPN is working on a Colin Kaepernick documentary series with Jemele Hill as a producer

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be the subject of yet another major entertainment production, this time a documentary series about his life that will be featured on ESPN and produced by the Atlantic's Jemele Hill, among others, Variety reported.

The series will be the first project to come from an agreement between Disney and Kaepernick's company, Ra Vision Media, which will "emphasize scripted and unscripted stories that deal with race, social injustice and the quest for equity, and work to showcase directors and producers of color," according to Variety.

"I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate black and brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire youth with compelling and authentic perspectives," Kaepernick said in a statement. "I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing."

The Kaepernick documentary series will be executive produced by ESPN executives Libby Geist, Kevin Merida, and Connor Schell, with Hill, a former ESPN personality, also on the project as a producer. The documentary will reportedly focus on Kaepernick's transition from NFL quarterback to social justice activist.

"Colin has had a singular path as both an athlete and an activist, and, as the nation continues to confront racism and social injustice, it feels particularly relevant to hear Colin's voice on his evolution and motivations," ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said, according to Variety.

Kaepernick recently announced a scripted series based on his life that will be on Netflix, a project led by Ava DuVernay. The former quarterback also reportedly signed a $1 million book deal with Penguin Random House in 2017, although no book has come from that deal.

In February, Kaepernick announced that he was writing a memoir to be published by his own publishing company. He also has an endorsement deal with Nike. His last season in the NFL was 2016.

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