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TWC files for bankruptcy after all

Embattled US film and TV producer and financier The Weinstein Company (TWC) has filed for bankruptcy for a second time, after the latest attempt to rescue the firm fell through.

Harvey Weinstein

TWC first filed for bankruptcy in February amid a string of allegations and lawsuits around the sexual misconduct of its co-founder Harvey Weinstein.

Earlier this month, an investor group led by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet agreed to buy TWC assets and rebuild the studio with a majority female board of directors and create a victims’ compensation fund.

However, that US$500m deal fell through after an extra US$56m of company debt was discovered on the TWC books.

The latest bankruptcy filing is intended to assist a new bid from a Dallas-based private equity firm, Lantern Capital, which equates to almost US$425m.

In a statement, TWC said: “The board selected Lantern in part due to Lantern’s commitment to maintain the assets and employees as a going concern.

“The company hopes that this orderly sale process under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court will allow it to maximise the value of the company’s assets for the benefit of its creditors and other stakeholders.”

At the same time, TWC announced it was tearing up all non-disclosure agreements signed by employees and women that Harvey Weinstein targeted.

Weinstein is accused of sexual misconduct, including rape, by more than 80 women and was sacked from the company in October last year. Weinstein, who founded TWC with his brother Robert in 2005, has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.

The scandal surrounding TWC brought about the #metoo campaign on social media and has also sparked a wave of sexual misconduct accusations levelled at figures including Kevin Spacey, Ed Westwick, Louis CK, Roy Price and John Lassiter.

TWC 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.”

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