Brafman reportedly wants out of Weinstein criminal case

Harvey WeinsteinBenjamin Brafman, the attorney who’s defending former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, no longer wants to represent the accused sexual predator, a source with direct knowledge tells NBC News. Rumors have been circulating recently about Weinstein seeking other attorneys as his May 6 court date on rape charges draws closer. A spokesman for Weinstein confirms that he has been meeting with other attorneys to build a team with expertise on different aspects of the case. Brafman and Weinstein have reportedly been clashing over defense strategy.  Weinstein denies charges that he raped a woman in a hotel room in 2016 and forced another into a sex act in 2006. The next pretrial hearing in the case is set for March 7. Brafman will need the approval of the judge overseeing the case to drop Weinstein as a client, and changing attorneys could delay the upcoming trial.

Brafman will be honored as the Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer of the Year at the 2019 Trial Lawyers Summit, which starts this Sunday in South Beach.

Video: Lisa Bloom on different side defending Weinstein

Lisa BloomCalifornia attorney Lisa Bloom has made a career out of defending women who have been victimized by sexual assault and violence. But now she’s defending Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer accused of sexual misconduct. “He wanted to be respectful to women and he still wants to be respectful to women. And he’s asked me, of all people, to help guide him in that direction, to explain to him the laws of sexual harassment and why this is important,” Bloom told the Associated Press. The New York Times reports Weinstein has settled with at least eight women over alleged harassment. While Bloom has long represented women in high profile cases against celebrities like Bill Cosby and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, she said she confronted Weinstein about the accusations he faces in a “frank, blunt way.” The AP reports Bloom’s mother, National Trial Lawyers Executive Committee member Gloria Allred, says she wouldn’t have taken on Weinstein as a client. Video of the Associated Press interview with Bloom is available here.