Friday 19 July 2019

'He's relentless' - Weinstein's lawyer quits his defence team

On trial: Harvey Weinstein was reportedly unhappy with his lawyer’s approach
On trial: Harvey Weinstein was reportedly unhappy with his lawyer’s approach

Harriet Alexander

Harvey Weinstein's lawyer Benjamin Brafman has confirmed that he is quitting the producer's legal team.

Mr Brafman (70) was reported to have been at odds with his mercurial client for several weeks.

On December 20, Mr Brafman failed to get the rape and sexual assault charges against Weinstein thrown out, and Weinstein was reportedly unhappy with his high-powered lawyer's approach to the case.

Mr Brafman said he was "withdrawing" from the case.

He made the announcement shortly after 'Esquire' magazine published a 7,500-word profile of Mr Brafman, in which he claimed he could "take the abuse" from Weinstein.

"I'm generally pleased with the 'Esquire' story," he told 'The New York Post'.

"I obviously don't get to write these stories so I'm not thrilled by every paragraph, but, on balance, I'm being told it's a great piece. In terms of the timing, it is somewhat ironic that it appears online now when some of it deals with the Harvey Weinstein case, which I'm withdrawing from."

Weinstein faces a trial later this year on five counts of sexual assault and rape, made by two women. He is accused of forcibly performing oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006, and raping a longtime lover in a Manhattan hotel in 2013.

Mr Brafman defended his decision to represent the disgraced film producer.

He insisted that Weinstein is the victim of mob-mentality.

"Nobody vets the allegations. What they do is count the bodies," he said.

But he gave a hint of the trouble that lay behind the scenes of their arrangement.

Mr Brafman said Weinstein sends him dozens of emails a day, turns up unannounced at his office, and he leaves voice mails if he doesn't hear back.

"He's a hands-on client," he said. "He's relentless."

Irish Independent

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