People bound by silence by The Weinstein Company’s non-disclosure agreements are now free to tell their story.
The film production company has filed for voluntary bankruptcy while also ending the NDAs that stopped victims of alleged sexual assault and harassment by co-founder Harvey Weinstein from discussing their experience.
“Effective immediately, those “agreements” end,” a Weinstein Company spokesperson said in a statement released late Monday.
“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. 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.”
The statement also confirmed that The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC would be selling its assets to a Dallas-based equity firm, Lantern Capital Partners.
“Under the agreement, Lantern will purchase substantially all of the assets of the Company, subject to certain conditions including approval of the Bankruptcy Court,” the statement read. “The Board selected Lantern in part due to Lantern’s commitment to maintain the assets and employees as a going concern.”
The assets of the now-defunct film company was going to be purchased by a group of investors – headed up by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet – in order to become a female-run business but they pulled out of the deal after discovering substantial debt.
Weinstein himself still faces criminal investigation after being accused of multiples counts of rape and sexual assault dating back to the 1970s.
The Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman, also filed a lawsuit in February against both Weinstein, his brother Bob and their film company alleging that they enacted serious violations of civil rights, human rights and state business laws.
Speaking of The Weinstein Company’s decision to release alleged victims from their non-disclosure agreements, Schneiderman said it was “a watershed moment for efforts to address the corrosive effects of sexual misconduct in the workplace.”
“The Weinstein Company’s agreement to release victims of and witnesses to sexual misconduct from non-disclosure agreements will finally enable voices that have for too long been muzzled to be heard,” he added.