The Weinstein Co. has backed away from its plans to depose attorneys for the women who brought a class-action lawsuit against company co-founder Harvey Weinstein, a move one attorney branded an attempt to silence the women backing a rival bid for the company.
The studio filed an amended document with the court that seeks to depose members of the Unsecured Creditors Committee about any documents and communications with Inclusion Media, which this week submitted a dark-horse bid for The Weinstein Co.’s assets.
The offer, from Broadway producer Howard Kagan, who proposed reserving $30 million from his $325 million cash-offer for the alleged victims of sexual assault, who are among the company’s unsecured creditors. Five of the plaintiffs in the class-action suit threw their support behind this bid.
The Weinstein Co. said Inclusion’s offer, which it described as a “letter of interest,” missed Monday’s bid deadline and failed to include a purchase agreement, a financing commitment, a deposit, or a number of other requirements for a qualified bid. It awarded the bid for its film and TV assets to stalking horse bidder Lantern Capital.
A day later, lawyers for the bankrupt studio filed a document with the bankruptcy court saying they planned to depose attorneys for the women who brought a class-action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein in federal district court in New York. It singled out one Weinstein accuser, Louisette Geiss, who serves on the committee, for questioning.
The company narrowed the scope of its deposition to focus on communications between the committee and Inclusion Media about what it’s calling an “expression of interest” in the studio’s assets and its evaluation of the Lantern offer.
A Weinstein Co. spokesperson did not respond to Deadline’s requests for comment.