Weinstein lawyer: Harvey can return to make important, brilliant films
Harvey Weinstein could return to the entertainment industry and make “important, brilliant films”, his lawyer has said.
Weinstein was one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers before dozens of women – including many high-profile actresses – came forward to allege he had sexually assaulted them, with accusations ranging from inappropriate touching to rape.
His downfall led to the rise in prominence of the #MeToo movement as well as to a wider debate about the treatment of women.
Weinstein, the 66-year-old former boss of Miramax and The Weinstein Company, has since been charged with rape in New York and is awaiting trial. He denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.
Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, believes his client’s career can still be salvaged.
He told the Press Association: “Mr Weinstein will be making important, brilliant films soon again and if these legal proceedings are resolved in his favour, as I am hopeful and confident they will be, there’s no doubt in my mind that he will again continue to what he has done for almost 40 years and this is make brilliant, good, important films.”
As well as the case in New York, Weinstein is being investigated by police in London and Los Angeles.
His accusers include Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek, who alleges he sexually harassed her, and British model Cara Delevingne, who said he tried to kiss her.
Prosecutors in New York last week dropped part of their case against Weinstein, dismissing allegations by one of his three accusers in that case.
Mr Brafman said the accusations have been “very hard” on the once-acclaimed producer, but Weinstein is “confident he will be cleared”.
He added: “It’s not easy to be accused of crimes publicly, that according to Mr Weinstein he did not commit, and it’s very difficult for his family, especially where there are children involved.
“That’s one of the unfortunate prices you pay when you are a famous person and what gets forgotten in this media coverage is we are dealing with someone who is maybe the single best and most brilliant filmmaker of this generation.
“He is saddened by what has happened but also confident that he will be cleared and I think he is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances, being accused of serious crimes that you did not commit.
“That’s very hard for anyone to go through and when it’s being done in such a public, mean-spirited manner, it’s not easy.”
Mr Brafman added: “He has gone through important therapy and he wants to be a better father and friend and he is doing pretty well under the circumstances.”
Mr Brafman is a well-known New York-based lawyer who has defended high-profile clients including Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs, former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Jay-Z.
The lawyer suggested Weinstein was being targeted because he is seen as “vulnerable” after being “publicly vilified by the media”.
He added: “When you do that in the media, it’s different than when you come into court and have to suddenly produce really credible, honest evidence and I think once they start, these legal proceedings, even more charges may well be dismissed.”
Mr Brafman said the #MeToo movement can be a positive force for change but warned it should not “panic” prosecutors into bringing cases to court without enough evidence.