The Weinstein Company voids Harvey's nondisclosure deals in bankruptcy filing

Keystone

Keystone

The studio said that it had lined up Lantern Capital Partners, a Texas private-equity firm, as a "stalking horse bidder", meaning that it will be the first bidder in the bankruptcy process, which allows a distressed company to avoid low bids on its assets.

The Weinstein Company, which is going through bankruptcy, announced that victims of, and witnesses to, Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct are no longer bound by non-disclosure agreements.

The company reportedly listed $500 million to $1 billion in liabilities and $500 million to $1 billion in assets. Dozens of prominent men in entertainment, media, finance, politics and other realms have seen their careers derailed, but no other company has seen its very survival as tightly intertwined with the fate of one man as the Weinstein Co.

Armenta also worries that as creditors line up in front of those who have sued the company to get paid in bankruptcy, it could be "leaving the plaintiffs with nothing to hold on to".

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"Effective immediately, those "agreements" end", the company said in a statement, adding with what I can only hope is a heavy dose of irony that "no one should be afraid to speak out or coerced to stay quiet".

The filing itemizes $345 million in secured debt, plus an additional $148 million in unsecured obligations.

The company said late Monday that it will release victims of, and witnesses to, Weinstein's alleged misconduct from any non-disclosure agreements.

This week's NY magazine features a story questioning why D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. hasn't prosecuted Weinstein.

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After the non-disclosure agreements are repealed, many wonder if more of TWC's employees will come forward to join the 60-plus victims who have already spoken out against the disgraced movie mogul. Publicly, Weinstein has denied all of the allegations against him.

Weinstein was forced out of his company previous year as the sexual misconduct allegations against him multiplied.

Earlier this month, an investor group led by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet agreed to buy TWC assets and rebuild the studio with a majority female board of directors and create a victims' compensation fund.

On the other hand, the bankruptcy filing won't affect any pending civil suits targeting Weinstein personally, nor will it derail potential criminal cases that could emerge from ongoing investigations in New York, Los Angeles, and London.

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The New York attorney-general, who is investigating wrongdoing at the Oscar-winning company, had pressed for the move.

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