×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Judge Approves Harvey Weinstein’s New Legal Team

A judge agreed on Friday to allow Harvey Weinstein to hire a new defense team, despite concerns that two of the new attorneys represented Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan on a drug charge.

Weinstein was in court in Manhattan on Friday morning along with his former lawyer, Ben Brafman, and three of his new attorneys: Jose Baez, Ronald Sullivan, and Duncan Levin. Weinstein is accused of raping a woman in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on another woman in 2006. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Brafman had represented him for more than a year, and won the dismissal of one of six charges in the case. However, relations between Weinstein and Brafman broke down following the failure of a motion to dismiss the entire case in December. In addition to the three attorneys who were in court, Weinstein has also hired Pamela Mackey, a Colorado attorney who defended Kobe Bryant against rape allegations in 2003.

Justice James Burke approved the switch in attorneys, according to local media reports, though he did take note of the potential conflict of interest.

McGowan has alleged that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 1997. Her allegations are not part of Weinstein’s criminal case, though it is at least conceivable that she could be called to give supporting testimony at his trial.

Baez and Sullivan represented her in a drug possession case that recently ended with a no contest plea in Virginia. The attorneys previously said they consulted with ethics counsel on the matter, and were advised there is no conflict of interest.

In court, Burke advised Weinstein that his lawyers would not be able to use any information they gained through that representation to help his defense. Burke suggested they might not cross-examine her as aggressively as they would otherwise, and would not be able to share any information from the McGowan case with other attorneys on the team.

Weinstein and his attorneys said they would be comfortable with that.

Baez is best known for successfully defending Casey Anthony on charges that she murdered her daughter, and winning an acquittal for NFL star Aaron Hernandez in a double murder case.

More Biz

  • Makan Delrahim

    Antitrust Experts Decry DOJ's 'Outrageous' Stance in Writers Guild Case

    Several experts on antitrust law have expressed concern at the stance taken by the Department of Justice in the ongoing legal feud between Hollywood writers and their agents. Three agencies have sued the Writers Guild of America for alleged violations of antitrust law. A key hearing will be held in federal court on Friday, as [...]

  • Bob Bakish Viacom CEO

    Shares of ViacomCBS Dip in First-Day Early Trading

    Shares of the newly combined ViacomCBS were off in early trading, a sign that Wall Street continues to look for new signs of growth after two of the best-known names in entertainment merged to vie with bigger rivals. Shares of the company’s new common stock were off 59 cents, or 1.38%, in late-morning trading on [...]

  • David Cohen (l) Executive Vice President

    Comcast Veteran David Cohen to Step Down

    Longtime Comcast executive David Cohen is stepping down from his operational role overseeing public policy, government relations, diversity and other key corporate functions for the media giant. Comcast said Thursday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Cohen, senior executive VP and chief diversity officer, will step down from his operational responsibilities as of [...]

  • Lamar Jackson 49ers

    49ers Broadcaster Suspended After Lamar Jackson 'Dark Skin' Comments

    The San Francisco 49ers have suspended one of its radio color hosts, Tim Ryan, after he made a comment about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, saying that he is skilled at faking handoffs because of his “dark skin color with a dark football.” Ryan made the comments early on on KNBR’s “Murph and Mac” morning [...]

  • CBS and Viacom Complete Merger: 'It's

    CBS and Viacom Complete Merger: 'It's Been a Long and Winding Road to Get Here'

    CBS Corp. and Viacom are united once again. The merger of the two halves of the Redstone family media empire into ViacomCBS was completed Wednesday, just four months after the boards of CBS and Viacom reached an agreement on an all stock-swap transaction. The combined company’s shares will begin trading Thursday on the NASDAQ index [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content