Harvey Weinstein bail increased over ankle bracelet issues | News | DW | 11.12.2019
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Harvey Weinstein bail increased over ankle bracelet issues

Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein owes the court an extra $1 million for tampering with his monitoring device. His defunct film company is also said to have settled with over a dozen accusers for $25 million.

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein saw his bail amount increased on Wednesday, as a judge required additional assurances that he won't attempt to flee during his trial.

Weinstein is facing criminal charges for allegedly sexually assaulting two women, one in 2006 and another in 2013. He has already pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to begin on January 6, 2020.

The 67-year-old had been assigned a $1 million (€900,000) bail, but prosecutors asked that it be raised to $5 million as a penalty for Weinstein allegedly failing to properly use his ankle monitor, which would be a violation of his bail.

Weinstein was accused of not wearing the electronic transmitter that works in tandem with his ankle bracelet on "numerous" occasions.

Read more:'She Said': #MeToo and the makings of a movement 

Justice James Burke of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan agreed to let the former movie mogul post a $2 million insurance bond.

Weinstein's lawyer, Donna Rotunno, explained the apparent violations as technical problems with the device. She said the $2 million would be covered by his original bail money and some other assets.

Weinstein arrived at the courthouse using a walker. His lawyer said Weinstein would undergo back surgery this week due to injuries he sustained in a car accident four months ago.

Victims' settlement reached?

The New York Times (NYT) and the AFP news agency reported independently on Wednesday that Weinstein and the board of his bankrupt film studio had reached a tentative settlement with dozens of alleged victims.

The payout would be $25 million, but the deal would not require Weinstein to admit wrongdoing or pay his accusers directly. Instead, the money would come from insurance companies backing the defunct studio, NYT said.

Read more: One year of #MeToo: A timeline of events

If confirmed, the settlement could mark the end of a two-year legal process that involved representatives for the victims, Weinstein, his former board members, creditors, insurers and the New York attorney general's office. 

The newspaper reported that 18 of the alleged victims would split $6.2 million, which meant that no individual would secure more than $500,000. An additional $18.5 million would be part of a class-action case.

Two women are said to have walked away from the tentative deal and intend to challenge it, NYT said, citing their lawyers.

The accusations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein first surfaced in 2017. The resulting scandal ultimately spurred the #MeToo movement, where women worldwide spoke up against past cases of sexual harassment and assault.

jcg/msh (Reuters, AFP)

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