Harvey Weinstein adds #MeToo critic to his legal team

Lula Sharp
July 14, 2019

Film producer Harvey Weinstein exits after a hearing at the New York State Supreme Court on Thursday.

Another lawyer bolted in May.

Weinstein has been free on $1 million bail pending trial.

As the accusations against Weinstein mounted, his company Weinstein Co fired him and filed for bankruptcy, and he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Up until recently, former Casey Anthony defense attorney Jose Baez represented Weinstein.

Attorneys Donna Rotunno and Damon Cheronis are replacing Baez and Sullivan.

The two lawyers reportedly chose to part ways with Weinstein after facing pressure from the public and not getting along with their client.

Weinstein engaged in behaviour that made representing him "unreasonably hard to carry out effectively" and insisted on taking actions "with which I have fundamental disagreements", Baez wrote.

In her own post-hearing press conference, Gloria Allred, who represents two of Weinstein's accusers in their civil cases, scoffed at Rotunno using her gender as a leg up.

"Mr Weinstein has engaged in behaviour that makes this representation unreasonably hard to carry out effectively and has insisted upon taking actions with which I have fundamental disagreements", Baez wrote.

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Harvey Weinstein's new lawyer in his Manhattan criminal prosecution clarified earlier comments she made about her client being "railroaded", telling Newsweek in a conversation on Thursday that she believes the emotional intensity of the #MeToo movement is to blame for Weinstein's predicament.

But she added: "When will Mr. Weinstein be held responsible for his?"

The swap comes after another Weinstein lawyer, Harvard law professor Ronald Sullivan, left in May amid backlash about his involvement.

Sullivan's involvement in the case drew protests from some students and faculty on the Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus.

After approving Baez's request to withdraw from the case, Burke called him to the bench for a one-on-one chat that lasted about five minutes with no court reporter to transcribe the conversation. That happened after his original lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, lost a hard-fought bid to get the case thrown out.

"Emotion of this case has taken over", Rotunno told reporters outside the courthouse.

Aidala appeared perturbed by what he called the judge's "extended private conversation" with Baez.

Buildings were defaced with graffiti that included the slogans "Down w Sullivan!"

Weinstein 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.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Back in January, Baez joined the legal team, and at that point, Rose McGowan, who actually was Baez's client in the past, pointed out the conflict of interests.

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