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Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy, staff can break silence

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements may see more women share sexual harassment claims by Harvey Weinstein after his ex-company ends non-disclosure agreements.

Tribeca Talks: Harvey Weinstein In Coversation - 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

Harvey Weinstein has been accused of secual misconduct by over 70 women.

Ilya Savenok

The silence surrounding Harvey Weinstein might be about to end.

Film and TV studio The Weinstein Company said on Monday it has filed for voluntary bankruptcy. It will also release all employees from non-disclosure agreements which may have silenced some victims of alleged sexual harassment and assault by its former chairman, Harvey Weinstein.

The company filed for bankruptcy in a Delaware court, listing $500 million to $1 billion in assets and the same in liabilities, according to Reuters. It said private Dallas-based equity firm Lantern Capital Partners has put forward an offer to buy its assets in a "stalking horse" agreement -- an initial bid on a bankrupt company's assets from a buyer chosen by the bankrupt company. This gives a better floor for future bids in a court-supervised auction.

"Since October, it has been reported that Harvey Weinstein used non-disclosure agreements as a secret weapon to silence his accusers. Effective immediately, those 'agreements' end," the company said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Eric Schneiderman, New York's attorney general, filed a lawsuit against the company in February on behalf of its employees. He called the action a "watershed moment".

More than 70 women have accused Weinstein, whose company produced and distributed critically successful movies such as "The King's Speech" and "Silver Linings Playbook", of sexual assault and harassment. Social media movements #MeToo and #TimesUp have seen affected women share stories of their experiences across a range of industries.