A US judge has approved a $17m (£12m) payout to women who accused disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
Weinstein, 68, was convicted last year in New York and jailed for 23 years for rape and sexual assault.
The payout for his victims will come from the liquidation of the Weinstein Co, a company he co-owms with his brother, which filed for bankruptcy in 2018.
Judge Mary Walrath of the bankruptcy court, said without the settlement, the plaintiffs would get “minimal, if any, recovery.” as she overruled an objection from some accusers looking to pursue appeals outside of bankruptcy court.
The Weinstein Co collapsed in late 2017, following widespread claims of sexual misconduct against Weinstein, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a former production assistant and raping an actress.
The US judge said that 83% of sexual misconduct claimants in the bankruptcy “have expressed very loudly that they want closure through acceptance of this plan, that they do not seek to have to go through any further litigation in order to receive some recovery, some possible recompense… although it’s clear that money will never give them that”.
The $17m fund will be divided among more than 50 claimants, with the most serious allegations resulting in payouts of $500,000 or more.
The settlement was put to a vote of Weinstein’s accusers, with 39 voting in favour and eight opposed.
The directors and officers of the company, who include Weinstein’s brother, Bob, also received releases that absolve them of any potential liability for enabling Weinstein’s conduct.
The Weinstein Co sold its assets to Lantern Entertainment, which later became Spyglass Media Group, for $289m.
Weinstein is currently spending time in a New York jail.