The Weinstein Company Frees Employees from Non-Disclosure Agreements
The bankruptcy of The Weinstein Company doesn’t just mean Harvey Weinstein’s company is entering a new chapter of its existence, with its assets and employees going to equity firm Lantern Capital Partners—it also opens the possibility that more of his victims will be able to explain what he did to them.
According to a statement about the sale, as reported by NPR, the deal immediately nullifies all the non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that Harvey Weinstein made his accusers sign when he settled with them.
“The Company expressly releases any confidentiality provision to the extent it has prevented individuals who suffered or witnessed any form of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein from telling their stories,” the statement read.
“No one should be afraid to speak out or coerced to stay quiet. The Company thanks the courageous individuals who have already come forward. Your voices have inspired a movement for change across the country and around the world.”
Many people have already come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault, among them Rose McGowan, Uma Thurman, Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette, Eva Green and Daryl Hannah.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose civil rights suit against Weinstein and his company held up the (ultimately doomed) sale of the firm to an investor consortium led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, expressed delight at the news about the NDAs.
“This is a watershed moment for efforts to address the corrosive effects of sexual misconduct in the workplace,” Schneiderman said. “The Weinstein Company’s agreement to release victims of and witnesses to sexual misconduct from non-disclosure agreements—which my office has sought throughout this investigation and litigation—will finally enable voices that have for too long been muzzled to be heard.”
Schneiderman’s lawsuit remains active, as does his investigation.
“My office will continue to fight for victims’ best interests throughout the bankruptcy proceedings, and engage with all parties, including The Weinstein Company and Lantern, in an ongoing effort to advance the principles we set forward when we filed our complaint: ensuring that victims are compensated, employees are protected moving forward, and perpetrators and enablers of abuse are not unjustly enriched,” he said. “We welcome the parties’ efforts to preserve jobs and pursue justice for victims.”