Harvey Weinstein in 2016.
Andreas Rentz / Getty Photos
The rising sexual assault and harassment scandal consuming Harvey Weinstein has reportedly prompted the film mogul to retain one of many highest profile legal attorneys in Hollywood.
Based on The Hollywood Reporter, Blair Berk, who has represented the likes of Mel Gibson, Britney Spears, Kanye West, and Lindsay Lohan, was introduced on to hitch Weinstein’s authorized crew because the variety of ladies accusing him of sexual misconduct expands.
The transfer comes as Weinstein faces allegations of rape and sexual assault in jurisdictions the place legal fees might nonetheless be introduced, and after a collection of preliminary responses to the scandal that appeared to confess or acknowledge misconduct occurred.
Former NFL security Darren Sharper, proper, huddles with lawyer Blair Berk in 2014.
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Occasions
After the New York Times and New Yorker revealed their bombshell studies together with the allegations from a number of ladies, most of them present and aspiring actresses, Weinstein launched an announcement admitting he had induced loads of ache, however stated he “got here of age within the 60’s and 70’s, when all of the rule about conduct and workplaces have been totally different. That was the tradition then.”
His authorized advisor on the time, movie star lawyer Lisa Bloom, additionally appeared on Good Morning America, the place she admitted that not solely was Weinstein’s conduct unlawful, however that he had sexually harassed ladies up to now, including that “there was misconduct for a interval of years.”
Weinstein has since launched an announcement unequivocally denying the allegations, however authorized specialists have told BuzzFeed News that the preliminary response, mixed with the rising variety of allegations, might have critical legal implications.
Authorities in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and New York — the place lots of the revealed allegations allegedly occurred — advised BuzzFeed Information this week they aren’t investigating Weinstein. Nevertheless, there isn’t any statute of limitations on aggravated sexual assault and rape circumstances in New York, and the Manhattan district lawyer’s workplace is below strain to clarify why it didn’t file a case in opposition to Weinstein after aspiring actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez reported that he had groped her breasts throughout a gathering in 2015, even after she secretly recorded him admitting to it.
Berk, who didn’t reply to repeated requests for remark Wednesday, is a principal companion of the West Hollywood agency Tarlow & Berk and through her 25-year observe has developed a repute as a savvy legal protection lawyer who works tirelessly behind the scenes for her purchasers. And whereas she seems at her consumer’s facet at hearings, Berk sometimes shuns the highlight and barely grants media interviews.
She joins Weinstein’s rising authorized portfolio of high-powered attorneys, together with Charles More durable, who famously represented Hulk Hogan in opposition to Gawker, David Boies, and Patricia Glaser. And in doing so, brings a formidable observe report.
Cee Lo Inexperienced seems with lawyer Blair Berk in 2014.
Kevork Djansezian / Getty Photos
Berk represented Gibson when he was charged in 2006 with DUI and was recorded making anti-Semitic remarks to the arresting officer. She additionally represented former Voice choose Cee Lo Inexperienced, who with Berk’s assist entered a plea of no contest to at least one felony rely of furnishing ecstasy to a lady.
She additionally just lately represented former NFL star Darren Sharper, who was sentenced to jail for drugging and rapping two ladies. Different purchasers embody Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Kiefer Sutherland, and Heather Locklear.