Just before courts closed on Monday, the Weinstein Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the state of New York, and in doing so, released anyone bound by a Weinstein Company non-disclosure agreement.
According to The New York Times, the company had been trying to hold on, keeping open an option to reorganize under a different, less polarizing name, and looking for an “angel investor” who might come along and keep the struggling production company afloat. Several companies expressed interest, but no help materialized, and now Weinstein’s namesake company needs protection from its creditors.
The Weinstein Company will now likely go on the auction block.
In a move that should help Weinstein’s alleged victims — which already number in the dozens — the bankruptcy filing includes a clause releasing anyone kept quiet under a non-disclosure agreement. The filing suggests that anyone “who suffered or witnessed any form of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein” is now free to come forward with their own allegations.
The filing even throws Weinstein under the bus: “The company regrets that it cannot undo the damage Harvey Weinstein caused, but hopes that today’s events will mark a new beginning.”
Of course, Harvey wasn’t the only Weinstein Company official to make things difficult for the women Harvey allegedly mistreated. The non-disclosure agreements now made moot by Monday’s events, were shockingly restrictive, designed largely to keep the women Harvey interacted with completely silent on the matter of his personal impropriety. Women whom Harvey couldn’t force to sign an NDA were allegedly tailed by private investigators, and Weinstein allegedly employed media companies to sully the women’s reputations and blacklist them in Hollywood.
Weinstein still denies any and all allegations of sexual misconduct. And as welcome as the NDA news is, the Chapter 11 filing also halts “an array of lawsuits against the company,” The New York Times reports, including those filed against Weinstein, accusing him and his company of sex trafficking and collusion, and of conspiring to hide Weinstein’s behavior for decades.