Three of the women involved in legal action against Harvey Weinstein – among dozens who have variously accused the disgraced media mogul of rape and sexual misconduct – have reportedly refused to sign a $47m class-action settlement in the case, arguing the agreement lets Weinstein off too lightly.
Kaja Sokola, Wedil David and one woman identifying as Jane Doe have all claimed that Weinstein assaulted them. In new comments to the Guardian, the trio’s attorney Doug Wigdor described the settlement as “inadequate”.
“My clients believe the current settlement is inadequate in terms of the amounts of money for the victims, and doesn’t provide for any understanding of how many will participate or how much each individual will receive,” Wigdor told the newspaper.
Sokola and Doe are making claims under New York’s Child Victims Act, as both were 16 at the time of the alleged assaults.
Weinstein has repeatedly denied all claims of non-consensual sex, and pleaded not guilty to criminal charges against him, despite more than 80 women having now accused him of sexual assault or harassment, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosanna Arquette and Rose McGowan.
Under the terms of the current settlement deal, Weinstein is not obliged to put up any of his own money or provide an admission of guilt. Company executives would also be protected from further claims and just $6.2m of the $47m would go to 18 of the alleged victims, with no one person receiving more than $500,000.
“Numerous employees and executives of Miramax and Disney were aware of Harvey Weinstein’s pattern of misconduct,” the complaint continues, “but the companies that employed him utterly failed to supervise him, and they continued to empower him with their prestige and resources and allowed him to find more victims, including Kaja Sokola.”
The company, says Wigdor, “bears responsibility legally for the negligence that ultimately permitted Harvey Weinstein to sexually assault our client”.
“One of the ways of trying to minimize or curtail these power-dynamic situations is for companies to take greater control of, and responsibility for, the acts of its executives,” Wigdor added. “That’s really what we are trying to do in addition to holding Harvey Weinstein accountable.”