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Weinstein settles civil suits

Harvey Weinstein has reached a tentative US$44 million deal to settle a slew of civil suits brought against him, his lawyers have revealed.

According to the Wall Street Journal, lawyers for the disgraced movie mogul struck the deal with several women who had accused him of sexual misconduct, board members from his former film company and the New York attorney general's office.

"For the first time, as of yesterday ... we now have an economic agreement in principle that is supported by the plaintiffs, the (New York attorney general's) office, the defendants and all of the insurers," Adam Harris, a lawyer for Harvey's brother and studio co-founder Bob Weinstein, told Judge Mary Walrath of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

The deal has yet to be finalized, as advisers to the Weinstein Company, which filed for bankruptcy last year, is in the process of considering the terms. If it does go ahead, however, the settlement would resolve the lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general's office last year, which accused the Weinstein Company's executives and board of "failing to protect employees from a hostile work environment and Mr. Weinstein's sexual misconduct".

In the proposed $44 million deal, $30 million would go to the plaintiffs—the women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct and several Weinstein Company employees—and cover the legal fees of the defendants. The remaining $14 million would be split to cover the legal fees of the people who worked at the Weinstein Company, including the board members named as defendants in the civil lawsuits.

Weinstein is still facing criminal charges of rape and other sex crimes in New York. He has been charged with raping an unidentified female acquaintance in his Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.

Weinstein, who has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex, pleaded not guilty and is currently free on $1 million bail.

His criminal trial is expected to start on Sept. 9.

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