Harvey Weinstein breaks with his criminal defense lawyer

David Caplan
January 17, 2019 - 4:38 pm

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NEW YORK (1010WINS/AP) -- Harvey Weinstein's high-profile criminal defense lawyer is leaving the movie producer's rape case weeks after failing to get the charges dismissed.

Benjamin Brafman filed court papers on Thursday asking to withdraw as Weinstein's lawyer. The filing came after a week of speculation about his involvement in the case.

A judge must still approve the move.

Weinstein and Brafman said in a joint statement that their split was amicable:

"Harvey Weinstein and his Criminal Defense Lawyer Benjamin Brafman have agreed to part ways and Mr. Weinstein has authorized Mr. Brafman to formally notify Judge Burke of his decision to withdraw as counsel for Mr. Weinstein in connection with all legal matters currently pending.  
Both parties have agreed to part ways amicably and Mr. Brafman has agreed to cooperate fully with new counsel for Mr. Weinstein so as 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. 
Mr. Weinstein intends to introduce his new legal team by early next week. 
There will be no additional comments pertaining to this."

Brafman has advocated for Weinstein in and out of the courtroom.

He won a victory in October when prosecutors dropped part of the case after evidence surfaced that a police detective had coached a witness.

But he was disappointed last month when a judge rejected his push to throw out the rest of the case.

Weinstein's trial is tentatively scheduled for May.