Weinstein Co. files for bankruptcy protection, releases NDA obligations

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The scandal-plagued Weinstein Company announced Monday that it has filed for bankruptcy protection with a stalking-horse bid in hand, and that it is releasing any victims of or witnesses to Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct from non-disclosure agreements preventing them from speaking out.

The stalking-horse agreement was reached with an affiliate of the Dallas-based private equity firm Lantern Capital Partners. The Weinstein Co. board selected Lantern “in part due to Lantern’s commitment to maintain the assets and employees as a going concern,” according to a statement. The board added, “The Company hopes that this orderly sale process under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court will allow it to maximize the value of the Company’s assets for the benefit of its creditors and other stakeholders.”

Regarding the release of NDA obligations — a step that had been sought by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who filed a wide-ranging lawsuit against the Weinstein Co. last month — the company called it “an important step toward justice.”

TWC added, “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.”

In a statement Monday, Schneiderman called it “a watershed moment for efforts to address the corrosive effects of sexual misconduct in the workplace.” He added that his office’s lawsuit against TWC and sibling cofounders Harvey and Bob Weinstein “remains active and our investigation is ongoing.”

The bankruptcy filing comes in the wake of a failed deal to sell the Weinstein Co. to an investor group led by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet and backed by billionaire Ron Burkle. Lantern was also part of that investor group.

The Weinstein Co. has been engulfed in scandal since October, with dozens of women accusing former chief Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.

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