2:21pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Harvey Weinstein Hiring New Lawyers as Ben Brafman Exits
Harvey Weinstein's criminal case is set for a spring trial, and he will be facing a jury without top-tier attorney Benjamin Brafman.
Despite an arguably successful run as Weinstein's lead litigator thus far, rumors began to swirl last week that Brafman wanted to quit. Weinstein has given Brafman his blessing to notify the court that he is withdrawing as counsel, according to a joint statement issued Thursday.
The men didn't explain the reason for the change, but it has been widely reported that Weinstein wanted to add to his legal team. Page Six on Thursday name-dropped three potential additions, all of them women, whom Weinstein was said to have reached out to.
Weinstein is expected to announce his new lawyers next week and, according to the statement, Brafman will help ensure "an orderly transition."
"Mr. Weinstein praised Mr. Brafman for his legal work to date and Mr. Brafman reiterated his belief that Mr. Weinstein would be exonerated of the charges that have been filed against him and Brafman personally wished Mr. Weinstein the best of luck as he defends the case and the accusations that Mr. Weinstein has vehemently denied," read the joint statement.
Brafman succeeded in getting one of the charges against Weinstein dismissed, although the court denied his bid to toss the matter altogether. Trial is currently set to begin May 6.