Harvey Weinstein's Departing Lawyer to Fully Cooperate With New Counsel for Smooth Transition

A joint statement released by the disgraced producer and Benjamin Brafman asserts that the two parted ways amicably despite initial reports suggesting clash over defence tactics.

AceShowbiz - Harvey Weinstein and his defence lawyer have officially gone their separate ways.

Benjamin Brafman, who has been representing the embattled movie mogul as he fights a stream of sexual misconduct allegations, has stepped down as his representative. The news comes four months before Weinstein is set to face a criminal trial in New York linked to multiple rape claims.

In a joint statement, the Oscar winner and Brafman maintain their split was amicable, while the producer's Los Angeles-based attorney Blair Berk says a new legal team is set to be announced.

"Mr. Brafman has agreed to co-operate fully with new counsel for Mr. Weinstein, so as to ensure an orderly transition," the statement reads. "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."

Prior to the split, Brafman successfully had charges relating to one of the three sexual assault incidents filed against Weinstein dropped. He then claimed to have obtained email evidence suggesting many of the statements made about Weinstein's supposed bad behaviour by the other two alleged victims were fabricated.

Brafman also attacked prosecutors for their "deeply flawed indictment", accusing them of seeking to try the case in the press.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to five counts of felony sexual assault and is free on $1 million (£760,000) bail.

A pre-trial conference is set to take place on March 7, ahead of his trial in May.

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