who threatened defamation suit against New York Times
leaves Weinstein defense: source
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[October 16, 2017]
NEW YORK (Reuters) -
Attorney Charles Harder has withdrawn from the legal
team of Harvey Weinstein after previously threatening to
sue the New York Times over its reports that the movie
producer had been the target of sexual harassment
complaints, said a source familiar with the matter on
The New York Times reported on Oct. 5 that
Weinstein, 65, had reached eight previously undisclosed
settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment and
unwanted physical contact. The New Yorker magazine then reported
on Oct. 10 that 13 women claimed Weinstein sexually harassed or
Reuters has been unable to independently confirm any of the
allegations. Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with
When the New York Times report that included claims spanning
over 30 years was published, Weinstein released an initial
statement to the paper obtained by Reuters apologizing for his
behavior. Harder subsequently put out a statement saying the
newspaper's story was defamatory because it relied on "mostly
hearsay accounts and a faulty report."
The source confirmed Harder had withdrawn from representing
Weinstein on Tuesday but did not give further details.
A representative for Weinstein, Sallie Hofmeister, did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
Harder is most well-known for representing professional wrestler
Hulk Hogan who sued Gawker Media LLC, which previously owned
Gawker.com, for defamation and won a $140 million judgment
against the online news and gossip website.
[to top of second column]
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which runs the
Oscars, expelled Weinstein on Saturday in a sharp rebuke for the
Hollywood mogul known for powering a string of films to Oscar gold.
The academy said in a statement that its 54-member board of
governors "voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority
to immediately expel him from the Academy."
The New York Police Department also said this week it was
investigating an allegation of sexual assault from 2004 against
His accusers include the actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who told The New
York Times that she was sexually harassed by Weinstein more than 20
years ago, and actress and director Angelina Jolie, who told the
publication that she "had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in
my youth and as a result chose never to work with him again."
(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Mary
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