Posted with permission from AFP
More than 100 women have accused disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinsteinof sexual harassment, assault and rape going back 40 years, leading not only to his career annihilation but to a US reckoning over harassment and abuse AFP/File / Yann COATSALIOU

A former official in the Barack Obama administration said Thursday she had reached a deal to buy assets from Harvey Weinstein's former company to launch a new firm after the Hollywood mogul's downfall for alleged sexual misconduct.

Maria Contreras-Sweet said the deal had been reached with the New York state attorney general's office, which last month sued The Weinstein Company fearing that its imminent sale could leave victims of his alleged sexual misconduct without adequate redress.

"Our team is pleased to announce that we have taken an important step and have reached an agreement to purchase assets from The Weinstein Company in order to launch a new company," Contreras-Sweet, who served as Administrator of the Small Business Administration under Obama, said in a statement.

She said her intention was to "build a movie studio led by a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women, save about 150 jobs, protect the small businesses who are owed money and create a victims' compensation fund."

The Weinstein Company had been close to sealing a deal with an investor group led by Contreras-Sweet last month until New York's attorney general Eric Schneiderman launched legal action and imposed various principles on any sale going forward.