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Weinstein Company ends non-disclosure agreements as it files for bankruptcy

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By Alice Cuddy  with Reuters
Weinstein Company ends non-disclosure agreements as it files for bankruptcy
Copyright  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

US film and TV studio The Weinstein Company has filed for bankruptcy and ended non-disclosure agreements following multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault against its former chairman Harvey Weinstein.

The company said it had struck a "stalking-horse" deal with an affiliate of private equity firm Lantern Capital Partners to acquire its assets.

In a statement, the company said it had lifted non-disclosure agreements in what it described as an “important step toward justice for any victims who have been silenced by Harvey Weinstein.”

“Since October, it has been reported that Harvey Weinstein used non-disclosure agreements as a secret weapon to silence his accusers. Effective immediately, those ‘agreements’ end,” it said.

“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.”

More than 70 women have accused Weinstein, who co-founded the company with his brother Bob in 2005, of sexual misconduct, including rape.

Weinstein, 66, has insisted that all sexual relations he had were consensual.

In February, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued The Weinstein Company and its two founders, alleging that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed employees and the company failed to respond.

He heralded the decision to drop the non-disclosure agreements as “a watershed moment.”

“The Weinstein Company’s agreement to release victims of and witnesses to sexual misconduct from non-disclosure agreements - which my office has sought throughout this investigation and litigation - will finally enable voices that have for too long been muzzled to be heard,” he said in a statement.

The Weinstein Company produced and distributed critically acclaimed films including “The King’s Speech” and “Silver Linings Playbook”.

Weinstein was fired from the studio in October.