Seven Weinstein accusers pen open letter to AG Letitia James over 'insulting' civil settlement

Billie Rama
March 09, 2020 - 7:06 pm
Harvey Weinstein

Associated Press

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Seven of Harvey Weinstein's accusers sent an open letter to New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday asking her to reconsider and renegotiate a civil settlement they called "insulting."

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In the letter, the women, who said they are survivors of Weinstein sex abuse, pleaded with James to reconsider her office’s backing of the civil settlement, which they say is detrimental to the interests of many of the disgraced movie mogul's victims.

The deal was reached in December with involvement of James' office and has been disputed by the women ever since.

Web Extra: Read the letter here

"We have been told that your office supports the proposed civil settlement of all Weinstein-related sexual harassment and sexual assault cases. We ask you to reconsider," the letter states. "The settlement is insulting to all of the survivors in that it represents a small fraction of what should be paid by Mr. Weinstein, his former directors and officers, and large multi-billion dollar insurance companies. Under the agreement, a large percentage of the settlement originally intended for victims will instead be paid to lawyers for Harvey Weinstein (a now-convicted felon), his brother Robert Weinstein and other ultra-wealthy former members of the board of directors of the Weinstein Company, who turned a blind eye, allowing Harvey Weinstein to victimize us and so many others."

The women, Zoë Brock, Alexandra Canosa, Rowena Chiu, Wedil David, Dominique Huett, Zelda Perkins and Kaja Sokola go on to say, "We hope that the Attorney General, as the chief law enforcement officer of the state of New York, finds the courage to stand up to Harvey Weinstein and his associates that we believe enabled him so as to ensure a fair settlement that provides adequate compensation for those that want to settle their claims and an unencumbered path forward for those survivors that want their day in court."

The letter comes two days before Weinstein is scheduled to be sentenced in his criminal case.

"We implore you to personally intervene to ensure that a fair settlement is reached in which all victims are afforded the level of justice and dignity they deserve," the letter closes with.

Weinstein was convicted on one count of criminal sex act for forcibly performing oral sex on a woman in 2006 and one count of third-degree rape for a 2013 attack on another woman.

On the criminal sex act count, he faces a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 25 years in prison, while the third-degree rape count carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison. The judge could have the sentences run concurrently.

Weinstein was acquitted of predatory sexual assault charges that carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

"Attorney General James has been steadfast in her pursuit of justice for victims," a spokesperson for James said in a statement. "Since the emergence of allegations in 2017, our office has sought to hold Harvey Weinstein accountable for his conduct againstwomen. We remain keenly focused on providing these brave women with the justice they are owed and to fight for the best settlement that is possible in bankruptcy court.”

Weinstein, 67, was originally supposed to go to Rikers Island immediately after his Feb. 24 conviction, but he was detoured to Bellevue Hospital amid concerns about high blood pressure and heart palpitations. He was at the hospital for more than a week.

On Thursday, Weinstein was moved to an infirmary unit at the Rikers Island jail complex after undergoing a heart procedure at the hospital where he'd been held since his conviction.

He also fell and injured himself in prison on Sunday. 

Weinstein's spokesperson said he was feeling dizzy before the fall and he believes he has a concussion.