Disgraced alleged rapist Harvey Weinstein’s legal “dream team” for his much-anticipated sexual assault case suffered another blow Thursday when lawyer Jose Baez was granted permission to withdraw from the case.
Weinstein dumped star litigator Ben Brafman in favor of a so-called “dream team” of lawyers that included Baez and Harvard law professor Ronald Sullivan.
That move seems to have backfired with Sullivan dropping out of the case following backlash at Harvard regarding his role in the proceedings.
During the pretrial hearing Thursday, Judge James Burked asked Weinstein if he was OK with Baez leaving his legal team. “Yes,” Weinstein replied, who ignored questions from reporters as he made his way into court.
People familiar with the situation tell The Daily Beast that Baez, who’s previously represented high-profile clients like Casey Anthony, is exiting due to clashes over legal tactics with the former Hollywood mogul.
“He thinks he’s making a movie,” said a person familiar with the case. “He’s just trying to put together the perfect cast and it’s not working. It’s not a movie. He is impossible to work with,” the person said.
The person familiar with the matter said Weinstein was keen to try the case in the court of public opinion—a strategy Brafman had earlier rejected.
“Ben wants to do everything in the courtroom and that’s the opposite of Weinstein, who wants the case tried in the court of public opinion and not a court of law,” a source said.