Weinstein in search of a lawyer as trial approaches

Jose Baez, left, sent a letter to a judge on Harvey Weinstein's, right, case to withdraw. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 June 2019
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Weinstein in search of a lawyer as trial approaches

  • He is accused of harassment by more than 80 women
  • Weinstein’s first lawyer withdrew from the case in January

NEW YORK: The main lawyer for Harvey Weinstein has asked a judge to be removed from the case, leaving the disgraced movie mogul without counsel as his sexual assault trial approaches in September.
Weinstein has been charged over the alleged assaults of two women — a rape in 2013 and an incident of forced oral sex in 2006. He faces life in prison if convicted, and is also accused of sexual misconduct with dozens of other women.
Weinstein’s first lawyer, Benjamin Braufman, withdrew in January after which Weinstein hired two other high-profile attorneys, Ronald Sullivan and Jose Baez.
Sullivan, who also teaches at Harvard, pulled out in May after coming under fierce criticism on campus for defending the man seen as giving rise to the #MeToo movement.
Once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, Weinstein has been accused of harassment and assault by more than 80 women, including stars such as Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd.
Then last week Baez asked to withdraw from the case, New York news outlets reported. He did so in a letter to State Supreme Court Justice James Burke, who is overseeing the case.
“First, Mr. Weinstein has engaged in behavior that makes this representation unreasonably difficult to carry out effectively and has insisted upon taking actions with which I have fundamental disagreements,” Baez wrote.
“For example, he has engaged outside counsel to communicate with myself and my co-counsel and has decided to have another attorney threaten legal action against this firm,” Baez said, adding that since May 15 or earlier Weinstein has known that Baez probably could not stay with the case.
Neither Baez, nor a spokesman for Weinstein nor the Manhattan prosecutor’s office responded to AFP’s requests for comment.
No hearing is scheduled until September 9, when jury selection is scheduled to begin in a trial that promises to be a media sensation.
It is not clear if the trial might be postponed because of Weinstein’s lawyer problems.


Want to stay relevant? Fight me, Pacquiao tells Mayweather

Updated 16 min 5 sec ago
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Want to stay relevant? Fight me, Pacquiao tells Mayweather

  • Mayweather had earlier claimed that Pacquiao’s “entire legacy and career has been built off its association with my name”
  • Mayweather is one of just seven pro fighters to have beaten Pacquiao

MANILA: Manny Pacquiao challenged Floyd Mayweather to face him again in the ring on Wednesday as the retired American star taunted the Filipino great about fighting on into his forties.
Pacquiao, 40, who beat Keith Thurman on a split decision at the weekend, bit back at Mayweather on social media after the American accused him of trading on his name.
“You come to my fight and then use my name in a post but I’m the one that is trying to stay relevant? if you want to be relevant again... #MayPac2,” Pacquiao tweeted.
Mayweather, who retired at 40 in 2017 with the unprecedented win-loss record of 50-0, had earlier claimed that Pacquiao’s “entire legacy and career has been built off its association with my name.”
“It’s about time you all stop using my brand for clout chasing and clickbait and let that man’s name hold weight of its own,” he posted on Instagram.
“When we finally fought, I won so easily that everyone had to eat their words!” added Mayweather, alongside a picture of his 2015 defeat of Pacquiao.
But Mayweather, who was ringside in Las Vegas as Pacquiao became the oldest welterweight world champion in boxing history, stayed silent about a rematch as he answered the Filipino in a later post.
“Bottom line, I make more money than you... I beat you mentally, physically and financially!” he wrote.
“Remember, you fight cause you have to, I fight when I want to!“
Mayweather is one of just seven pro fighters to have beaten Pacquiao, the only boxer to have won world titles in eight weight divisions.