You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Weinstein Creditors Hire Firm That Represented Catholic Church Abuse Victims

The unsecured creditors in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy have hired Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones, a firm that has represented sexual abuse victims in a dozen bankruptcies involving the Catholic Church.

The five-member committee of unsecured creditors includes two alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein’s abuses: his former assistant Sandeep Rehal and former actress Louisette Geiss. The committee also includes WME, Cinedigm, and Light Chaser Animation, a Chinese animation studio. Geiss, who filed a suit alleging that Weinstein tried to force her to watch him masturbate in 2008, will chair the committee.

James Stang, a partner at the firm, will be among the attorneys representing the unsecured creditors. The committee’s goal will be to maximize the value of the Weinstein Co. estate in order to get the greatest possible recovery. The firm’s involvement is a sign that the committee may take an aggressive approach, possibly even suing Harvey Weinstein to recover funds that he may owe the company.

“It is not unusual in a bankruptcy case that one would look for assets that may be recoverable,” Stang told Variety in an interview. “The committee is going to look at potential liability of third parties, other than the Weinstein Co., and that would include Harvey Weinstein. That’s a given.”

As of now, it appears that there will be relatively little money available for victims. The Weinstein Co. has listed more than $500 million in debts, of which $345 million is owed to banks and other secured lenders. A stalking horse bid comes to just $425 million, including the assumption of $115 million in debt and $310 million in cash. The company does have up to $30 million in insurance coverage, which could be available for victims.

In the Catholic Church cases, Stang has filed suits to bring assets into the estates for the benefit of abuse victims. In a case last year involving a diocese in Montana, Stang sued to bring $70 million of parish assets into the estate. In the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, he sought to include $60 million from the church’s cemetery trust. In 2011, Stang sued a Jesuit order in Portland, Ore., arguing that $3.1 million earmarked for education should have gone into the bankruptcy estate.

The Weinstein Co. is hoping for a fast sale to Lantern Capital, as it struggles to keep the company in business. The company has asked for an auction date of May 2, with bids due by April 30. Any objections to that timeline are due to be filed by Tuesday at 4 p.m. A hearing on the bidding procedures is set for next Friday.

Stang said he was not yet sure whether the committee would file an objection. He said he had a preliminary conversation with the Weinstein Co., which went well.

“I hope we will continue having a cooperative relationship with them. They seem to want to have that with us,” he said. “We want to keep expenses down as much as possible and move this along so everybody — the women, the trade creditors — can get as quick a recovery as possible.”

According to the bankruptcy filings, Light Chaser Animation is owed $2.25 million and Cinedigm is owed $902,806. WME, in addition to being an unsecured creditor, also represents Ashley Judd, who was among the first actresses to come forward with allegations against Weinstein. Rehal has sued, alleging that she was subjected to abuse and harassment, and that she was compelled to facilitate Weinstein’s sexual encounters.

Other unsecured creditors include Disney, Sony, CAA, Wanda Pictures, Viacom, and numerous law firms.

Also representing the unsecured creditors are Bradford J. Sandler, Debra I. Grassgreen, and Robert J. Feinstein.

More Biz

  • IWC Schaffhausen store opening, Rodeo Drive,

    8 Luxury Gifts That Industry Leaders Are Spending Their Paychecks On

    Whether you’re celebrating a new launch, a new business venture, or toasting to the end of another successful year, here are eight gift ideas to reward yourself — and to impress the company you keep. 1. Saint Laurent Perforated Leather Tote Bag If you work in the industry, you need a good bag, and you’ve [...]

  • best airlines ranked inflight entertainment

    Holiday Travel Survey Reveals Airlines With Best In-Flight Entertainment

    There are many ways to pass the time if you’re in the air, but for most people, settling in with a glass of wine and a movie is the preferred way to fly. But not all airlines share the same script when it comes to entertainment offerings. A new survey from the website, CableTV.com, ranked [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

  • Jennifer Lawrence Harvey Weinstein

    Jennifer Lawrence Denies Harvey Weinstein's Claim in Latest Assault Lawsuit

    Harvey Weinstein was hit with a lawsuit Friday from an actress who claims he forcibly performed oral sex on her, repeatedly masturbated in front of her, and threatened to harm her career if she objected. The suit details that Weinstein claimed he was trying to help her and that he was the gateway to her dreams. [...]

  • Times Up Hollywood

    Time's Up Entertainment Announces New Industry Mentoring Initiative

    Time’s Up Entertainment, an affiliate of the Time’s Up coalition of women across industries working to improve workplace safety, has announced the “Who’s in the Room” industry mentoring initiative. The program’s goal is to increase the presence of people of color from diverse backgrounds in the entertainment industry’s executive ranks. Funded by a $500,000 grant from [...]

  • Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in

    Paramount Inks Deal for Theme Park in South Korea

    Paramount Pictures has announced a deal to install a studio-branded theme park in an entertainment resort being developed in South Korea. The agreement was struck between Paramount and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, which owns the Inspire Integrated Entertainment Resort in the South Korean city of Incheon. Mohegan has invested KRW 2.8 trillion ($2.4 billion) in [...]

  • Davan Maharaj Mel Gibson

    L.A. Times Publisher's Lawyer Was Accused of Extorting Mel Gibson

    The attorney who negotiated a $2.5 million exit package for L.A. Times publisher Davan Maharaj was previously accused of using secret recordings to extort actor Mel Gibson. Surreptitious recordings also figure in the Maharaj case. NPR reported on Wednesday that Maharaj taped Tronc chairman Michael Ferro. According to the report, Ferro was heard on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content