8:54am PT by Eriq Gardner
Harvey Weinstein Adds Criminal Lawyers to Team
Harvey Weinstein continues to prepare for fallout from published reports about his conduct toward women over many decades. He's now added criminal defense attorney Blair Berk to his legal team.
Although many of the accusations of harassment and sexual assault detailed in The New York Times and The New Yorker stretch back many years, there's no statute of limitations on rape in New York. So far, law enforcement authorities in New York and Los Angeles haven't indicated any open investigation into the movie mogul's behavior, but as the scandal continues to unfold with more and more women coming forward, Weinstein is apparently bracing himself for whatever might come.
Berk is a West Hollywood-based attorney with a track record of representing famous stars in trouble. Her past clients include Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan, Kiefer Sutherland and Kanye West. Despite representing famous individuals, the Harvard-trained attorney prefers to stay under the radar. She once told CNN, "In my 20 years of practice, I have never once found it in my client's best interest to have media coverage of their criminal case."
On the other hand, she pays attention to what's in the media. In a 2013 profile here, she was quoted as saying, "You’re not doing your job unless you have a very high degree of sophistication about how these cases are covered and how the different parties in the case will approach publicizing their position in the case."
Weinstein has also reportedly retained a second criminal attorney, David Chesnoff, but The Hollywood Reporter hasn't yet been able to confirm that engagement. Chesnoff is based in Las Vegas and has his own list of past star clientele, including Bruno Mars and Britney Spears. The attorney also represented Starz chief Chris Albrecht when the entertainment executive was running HBO and was fighting a domestic violence charge.
It's been a roster churn of lawyers for Weinstein in the past week. He's lost Lisa Bloom and Lanny Davis, but brought aboard Patty Glaser to deal with his termination from The Weinstein Company. Also by Weinstein's side is Charles Harder, who has said a defamation lawsuit against The New York Times is in the works.