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Disney Insurer Seeks to Avoid Paying for Harvey Weinstein’s Criminal Defense

An insurance company that covers the Walt Disney Co. filed suit on Tuesday seeking to avoid paying for Harvey Weinstein’s legal defense on rape and sexual assault charges.

Steadfast Insurance Co. issued an employment practices policy to Disney. According to the suit, filed in New York Supreme Court, Weinstein’s attorneys have sought to be reimbursed through the policy.

Weinstein faces up to 25 years in prison on allegations that he forced a woman to perform oral sex on him during a meeting at his office in 2004. He is also accused of raping a second woman at a hotel in New York in 2013. At the time of the first allegation, Weinstein ran Miramax, which was owned by Disney.

Weinstein was arrested on May 25 and released with an ankle monitor on $1 million cash bail. According to the complaint, Weinstein’s attorney notified Steadfast on the same date that he would seek payment of defense costs through the Disney policy. Weinstein also sought reimbursement for the $1 million.

Steadfast has agreed, as a preliminary matter, to pay defense costs. The company refused to reimburse the bail amount, saying the cost fell outside the policy.

In the complaint filed on Tuesday, Steadfast seeks a declaration that it is not obligated to pay for Weinstein’s defense, as well as reimbursement for any expenses it has already incurred.

Steadfast argues that the criminal case is not covered by provisions of the policy that cover claims for wrongful discrimination and wrongful employment acts. It also argues that the criminal case is excluded from coverage under a provision exempting payment on claims of “bodily injury.”

Separately, Weinstein is also fighting with Chubb Indemnity Insurance company over whether that insurer will have to pay for his defense in 14 civil suits.

Weinstein’s representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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