(NEW YORK) — Harvey Weinstein’s criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman announced his intention to withdraw as counsel for the embattled movie mogul in a joint statement obtained by ABC News on Thursday.
Weinstein authorized Brafman to formally notify Judge James Burke, who is overseeing Weinstein’s criminal case in New York, of his decision to withdraw as his counsel in connection with all legal matters currently pending.
The split was amicable, according to the statement, and Brafman has agreed to cooperate fully with Weinstein’s new legal team in order to 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,” the statement declared.
The statement concluded by saying that Weinstein intends to introduce his new legal team by early next week. According to The New York Post, Brafman’s decision to leave Weinstein was prompted by his former client’s decision to solicit legal advice from other attorneys, against Brafman’s wishes.
Weinstein’s facing five criminal counts in New York of rape and sexual assault, all of which he’s denied. A sixth count against the film producer was dismissed in October after prosecutors revealed to the defense that they’d discovered a written account from his accuser that suggested the encounter that prompted the count against him was consensual.
Weinstein’s trial is set for May 6.
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