Harvey Weinstein’s legal team has lost another high-profile attorney. Charles Harder is no longer representing the disgraced mogul, who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by numerous women over the past 10 days, allegations that stretch back decades and were made in part through bombshell reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker.
Harder told The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the Times exposé was published on Oct. 5 that he was planning to sue the paper for defamation. Instead, it seems Harder is leaving Weinstein’s team without filing this claim, as allegations against the Miramax co-founder have mounted.
Harder on Oct. 5 told THR via email of the Times story, “The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein. It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.”
Harder’s exit, first tweeted by former THR editor Janice Min and confirmed by THR, comes roughly a week after attorney Lisa Bloom also exited Weinstein’s team. Lawyer Lanny Davis is also no longer representing Weinstein.
Meanwhile, over the past week, Weinstein retained Patty Glaser to deal with his termination from The Weinstein Co. (Glaser isn’t representing Weinstein in connection with harassment or assault claims or against media outlets.) And he added criminal defense attorneys Blair Berk and, reportedly, David Chesnoff to his team.
Harder is perhaps most famous as the lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in the litigation that brought down Gawker. He also represented Melania Trump in a defamation action against the parent company of The Daily Mail. That case settled earlier this year. Harder also sent a cease-and-desist letter last year on behalf of Roger Ailes to New York Magazine, and over his career, has represented many popular stars in entertainment including Reese Witherspoon and Sandra Bullock.
Weinstein was fired by his eponymous company on Oct. 8, and was kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Saturday. Meanwhile, the NYPD and London police have both opened investigations into Weinstein’s alleged inappropriate behavior.