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Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy after sexual harassment scandal

The firm is understood to have been battling to avoid bankruptcy since last October

Josie Cox
Business Editor
Monday 26 February 2018 10:24 GMT
Harvey Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone
Harvey Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone (Getty)

The board of directors of The Weinstein Company, which was co-founded by disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, has said that the film and TV studio plans to file for bankruptcy after talks to sell failed, several media outlets have reported.

The New York-based company had reportedly been trying to clinch a deal that would save it after dozens of women accused Mr Weinstein, the firm’s former chairman, of sexual misconduct. Mr Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

“The Weinstein Company has been engaged in an active sale process in the hopes of preserving assets and jobs,” the board said in a statement released late on Sunday, according to several US newspapers. “Today, those discussions concluded without a signed agreement.”

The board also said it had “no choice but to pursue its only viable option to maximise the company’s remaining value: an orderly bankruptcy process”.

The Weinstein Company is understood to have been battling to avoid bankruptcy since last October, when reports by The New York Times and The New Yorker first revealed decades of sexual harassment allegations against Mr Weinstein. The producer was fired from the company in the wake of those allegations.

According to The New York Times, the studio had at first sought loans from private equity companies to stay solvent. When that approach failed, the group sold off North American distribution rights to Paddington 2.

Earlier in February, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman brought a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company accusing the group of repeatedly breaking New York law “by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination”.

A four-month investigation conducted by Mr Schneiderman’s office led to several examples of Mr Weinstein’s alleged abuse and threatening behaviour.

Additional reporting by newswires

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