Weinstein Defense Team Falling Apart

Harvey Weinstein, second from right, appeared in court with the attorneys Ron Sullivan, left, and Jose Baez, in New York in January. His former attorney Benjamin Brafman is at right.

Weinstein’s ‘Dream Team’ of Defense Lawyers Falls Apart

In the six months since Harvey Weinstein built his new “dream team” of heavy-hitting lawyers to represent him against sexual assault charges in Manhattan, the movie producer’s carefully selected legal cast has completely fallen apart.

Mr. Weinstein, whose alleged sexual misconduct set in motion the global #MeToo movement, and his first lawyer parted ways in January. He then hired a team that included a former Manhattan prosecutor and three attorneys who had defended celebrities and some of the country’s most vilified defendants.

But one by one, Mr. Weinstein’s new lawyers have bowed out. With less than three months until the trial begins, Jose Baez, one of the producer’s last remaining lawyers, asked a State Supreme Court justice in Manhattan to allow him to withdraw from the case, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications.

“Mr. Weinstein has been aware since at least May 15 that it was very unlikely that I would be able to continue on this case,” Mr. Baez said in a letter to Justice James Burke on Friday.

Mr. Baez did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

Mr. Weinstein formed his team of star lawyers after he parted ways with Benjamin Brafman, a prominent defense lawyer in Manhattan, following weeks of intense arguing.

Mr. Weinstein, 67, faces charges that he raped one woman, who has not been identified, at a Midtown hotel in March 2013, and forced a second woman, Mimi Haleyi, a production assistant, to let him perform oral sex on her at his Manhattan apartment in 2006.

Mr. Weinstein has denied the allegations and has said the sexual encounters were consensual.

Mr. Baez’s request comes weeks after his partner, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., stepped down, and five days after he had assured the justice he could handle the case.

Mr. Sullivan, a law professor and a faculty dean of an undergraduate house at Harvard University, came under fire by students there for representing Mr. Weinstein.

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2 thoughts on “Weinstein Defense Team Falling Apart

  1. Although splitting his time between the two cases, Mr. Baez seems to be at least doing alright for Nordlicht.

    Also, Mr. Baez seems to get away with quite a bit. Let’s not forget that the Judge forbade Mr. Baez from presenting his conspiracy theory that Platinum collapsed because the Government allegedly leaked news of the raid on Plaitnum’s offices. Yet, despite blatantly ignoring the judge, there were no consequences for Mr. Baez after he presented the conspiracy theory during his opening remarks.

    Of course it was just a conspiracy theory since it came out in testimony that Platinum was imploding at least a year prior to the raid but Mr. Baez was able to plant the seed in the Juror’s heads.

    Let’s not forget that Mr. Baez also saved Nordlicht’s tuchus (figuratively and literally) from prison for the duration of the trial.

    • Nordlicht by our analysis is going to be freed of all charges, not because he is not guilty but because Baez is clever and something of a genius in his approach, creating a confusing and hard to understand case as presented. Levy’s attorney also contributed to that. Our feeling is that Baez’s decision to drop out has more to do with something else. We speculate, though only speculation, he dropped out because the tactics Weinstein used to intimidate witnesses and and destroy witness credibility, as proven now by all of the stories on Black Cube, would be a taint to Baez’s otherwise unimpeachable reputation and credibility. His tactics are cleaner. We speculate, though cannot prove at this time, that he has left the case because there may have been witness tampering, intimidation, numerous borderline questionable tactics used to prevent Weinstein from being charged with assault for many more victims, including one of Baez’s former clients. Baez gets paid upwards of 2K/hour for his time, if not more. He did not walk away from this case on a whim, at least as we see it.

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