The Weinstein Company co-founded by ousted film producer Harvey Weinstein has filed for bankruptcy after talks to sell its assets to an investor group collapsed.

Discussions with a group led by businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet, backed by billionaire Ron Burkle, failed to reach a deal after New York prosecutors filed a lawsuit against the film company alleging the studio failed to protect staff from Weinstein, according to the BBC.

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Weinstein faces allegations of sexual assault and abuse, including rape, but denies non-consensual sex.

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“The Weinstein Company has been engaged in an active sale process in the hopes of preserving assets and jobs,” the board said in a statement according to newspapers including The New York Times.

“Today, those discussions concluded without a signed agreement.”

The statement continued: “While we recognize that this is an extremely unfortunate outcome for our employees, our creditors and any victims, the board has no choice.”

Harvey Weinstein, Georgina Chapman

Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman at the 2015 Oscars

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It added that “an orderly bankruptcy process” was the “only viable option to maximize the company’s remaining value.”

In November, The Wall Street Journal reported Contreras-Sweet, a Mexican immigrant and former head of the Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama, had offered a surprise bid, believing that “reorganizing the Company as a woman-led venture will be an inspiration to the industry.”

Maria Contreras-Sweet | ELLE UK

It was widely believed she had plans to make 51 percent of the company controlled by women.

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Meanwhile, the civil rights lawsuit against the company alleges Weinstein abused female employees and made verbal threats to kill staff members.

It also accuses Weinstein’s brother and company co-founder Bob Weinstein of failing to stop the mistreatment of staff despite being given evidence.

Weinstein’s lawyer said a “fair investigation” would prove that many of the allegations were without merit.

bob weinstein | ELLE UK

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The Weinstein Company’s board of directors said at the time (via Deadline): “Many of the allegations relating to the board are inaccurate and the board looks forward to bringing the facts to light as part of its ongoing commitment to resolve this difficult situation in the most appropriate way.”

Weinstein was sacked from the company when allegations of assault and harassment made against him by numerous women were published in The New York Times.

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