'Harvey Weinstein reaches $25m settlement with accusers'

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Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has reached a $25 million settlement with dozens of his alleged sexual misconduct victims, one of the women's lawyers told AFP on Wednesday.

The cash will be shared among more than 30 actresses and former employees who have sued the 67-year-old producer for offenses ranging from sexual harassment to rape.

Aaron Filler, an attorney for "Boardwalk Empire" actress Paz de la Huerta, told AFP he expected his client, who accused Weinstein of raping her in 2010, to be part of the settlement.

Weinstein will not have to admit wrongdoing or pay from his own pocket, celebrity news portal TMZ said, with the bill instead being met by insurers for his bankrupt former movie studio, The Weinstein Company.

The deal will have to be signed by all parties and get court approval to resolve almost every misconduct lawsuit brought against him since 2017 and insulate company directors from future liability.

Weinstein's accusers include some of the world's most famous actresses -- including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek -- although none is part of the proceedings.

The once-powerful "Pulp Fiction" and "Sin City" producer, whose case sparked the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, faces a criminal trial in January on charges of rape and forcibly performing oral sex on a woman.

Looking frail as he shuffled into a pretrial hearing in Manhattan using a walking frame, he had his $1 million cash bail raised to $2 million in assets after prosecutors accused him of mishandling his ankle monitor.

Weinstein's legal team told the court he was scheduled to undergo surgery on Thursday to relieve back pain from an injury in an August car accident.

"He is in pain. He's going to have surgery and he will be back in court on 6 January," said attorney Donna Rotunno.

The criminal claims against him involve just two accusers, meaning the civil settlement represents the only chance of justice for the many women who have accused Weinstein of abuse.

One of his accusers, 50-year-old Katherine Kendall, told The New York Times she was disappointed by the deal but had agreed to sign on because she didn't want other women to miss out on the payout.

"I don't love it, but I don't know how to go after him. I don't know what I can really do," said Kendall, who alleged that she was chased around his New York apartment by a naked Weinstein.

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