FILE PHOTO: Harvey Weinstein speaks at the UBS 40th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, NY, U.S., December 5, 2012.
FILE PHOTO: Harvey Weinstein speaks at the UBS 40th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, NY, U.S., December 5, 2012. Reuters/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

The Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy on Monday. The embattled American film studio, whose ex-chairman Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexually harassing or raping dozens of women in the span of decades, has also released its employees from their non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

The company has about a hundred employees. It has listed US$500 million to US$1 billion (AU$649 million to AU$1.3 billion) in liabilities and US$500 million to US$1 billion in assets. The bankruptcy is expected to wipe out the equity holders of the company, including Harvey and his brother Bob.

TWC has entered into a “stalking horse” agreement with Lantern Capital Partners, which means the offer from Lantern will set the floor for other bidders. According to a Variety source, Lantern bid US$310 million (AU$402 million) in cash and agreed to assume unspecified obligations. The bigger question is how much money will be left for Weinstein’s alleged harassment and rape victims. The insurance is expected to pay up to US$30 million (AU$39 million), although it could also contest its obligation to pay.

TWC previously made a deal with an investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet. However, the group terminated its offer earlier this month after it found out that the company had more liabilities than it had first disclosed.

The company’s statement also includes the dissolution of the NDAs signed by the employees. The move, according to the company, is its way to support Weinstein’s accusers silenced by the agreement.

“Today, the Company also takes an important step toward justice for any victims who have been silenced by Harvey Weinstein. Since October, it has been reported that Harvey Weinstein used non-disclosure agreements as a secret weapon to silence his accusers,” TWC said in a statement.

“Effective immediately, those ‘agreements’ end. The Company expressly releases any confidentiality provision to the extent it has prevented individuals who suffered or witnessed any form of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein from telling their stories. 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.”

Harvey Weinstein had been fired from the board in October after reports from The New York Times and The New Yorker revealed that he allegedly abused or raped dozens of women over a period of at least 30 years. Weinstein has staunchly maintained that he did not have non-consensual sex with any of the women. He and his brother Bob Weinstein were the founders of the film studio.