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Bidder proposes turning The Weinstein Company into studio run by women

A surprise bidder has offered to buy The Weinstein Company and turn the now infamous company into a studio run by women.

Film producer Harvey Weinstein poses during a photocall  near Cannes, southeastern France, on May 23, 2017. (YANN COATSALIOU/AFP/Getty Images)

The bid comes from Maria Contreras-Sweet, who previously ran the Small Business Administration for nearly three years under President Obama. Prior to working in the White House, she was the executive chairwoman and founder of ProAmérica Bank.

In a letter she sent to The Weinstein Co. dated Nov. 8, Contreas-Sweet proposes that she act as chairman of a majority-woman board of directors for the studio, and that the majority of investors in the company would be women, to ensure that women would control the studio’s voting stock.

“I have assembled a first-class team of financial partners, advisors and consultants to put together a proposal to acquire the assets,” she said in the letter. “We believe [this] will present a path forward that is in the best interests of all of the company’s stakeholders.”

Her letter also said she plans to keep “most if not all” of the company’s current employees, and assume all debts and payments to vendors. Contreras-Sweet also promised to create a litigation fund to pay the victims of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment who may not qualify for settlements from Weinstein Co. insurers.  She adds that a mediation process would be set up to determine what to pay victims to ensure that they receive fair settlements.

Since early October, more than 60 women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault, harassment, or rape by Harvey Weinstein, the co-founder and former chairman of The Weinstein Company, the first in what eventually influenced a string of prominent male figures to face sexual misconduct allegations.

Through a spokesperson, Weinstein has repeatedly denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex.”