According to the New York Post, Harvey Weinstein is trying—and failing—to attract a “dream team” of female lawyers as he prepares to go to trial on June 3.
The disgraced Hollywood mogul is apparently hoping that a female defense team will distract from the charges against him, including sexual assault and performing a forcible sex act.
“People around Harvey are saying he’s desperately trying to hire a ‘skirt’—their term—for the team as he feels it will soften his image,” an insider told the Post.
Last month, Weinstein hired Pamela Mackey, who successfully defended Kobe Bryant against a rape accusation, but the two had a falling out over her fee and she is no longer working for him, per the Post.
Now, Weinstein is allegedly low-balling potential female lawyers, telling them that working for him will be good for their careers—the same line he used on young actresses who felt underpaid.
Weinstein’s legal drama has been months in the making. After parting ways with prolific defense attorney Benjamin Brafman, Weinstein hired the same male lawyers, Jose Baez and Ronald Sullivan, that once represented actress Rose McGowan.
“This is a major conflict-of-interest,” McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of rape, told the Daily Beast in January.
A judge agreed, warning Mr. Weinstein his lawyers would face an ethical problem if the actress were called to testify against him. Baez and Sullivan have insisted that no conflict exists as they represented McGowan “in a ’matter unrelated to Mr. Weinstein’s current charges.”
Since then, Isabelle Kirshner and Susan Necheles have been among a number of top female lawyers to turn Weinstein down.
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