Harvey Weinstein Hires New Lawyer

Former Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein has assembled a new legal team to take up the appeal of his conviction for sexual assault and rape in California, Variety reported.

Weinstein has enlisted the services of Michael Freedman and Jennifer Bonjean, the attorney behind the successful appeal of Bill Cosby’s conviction, in hopes that they can have his California conviction overturned.

Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault and rape by a California jury in December 2022. He was later sentenced in February to 16 years.

Weinstein’s New York convictions, for which he received an additional sentence of 23 years, were upheld on appeal in June 2022. However, the New York Supreme Court has agreed to take up Weinstein’s appeal.

Jennifer Bonjean represented comedian Bill Cosby when his appeal reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 2021. Previously, Bonjean has represented Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere and singer R. Kelly, both of whom were found guilty.

In the appeal of Cosby’s conviction, the defense argued that the comedian did not receive a fair trial. According to Variety, Weinstein will likely mount a similar defense.

Weinstein’s new legal team will also represent the disgraced Hollywood mogul in the civil case brought by Evgeniya Chernyshova, who has accused Weinstein of rape. Chernyshova is seeking compensation for mental and physical pain and suffering, as well as loss of earnings and the costs for psychological and medical treatment stemming from the alleged rape. 

Weinstein is currently serving his New York sentence at Mohawk Correctional Facility, the media-security prison located in Rome, New York.

The sentences in both the New York and Los Angeles convictions are to be served consecutively rather than concurrently, meaning if both convictions are upheld, Weinstein would have to serve out his sentence in New York before being transferred to a prison in California to serve his 16-year sentence. In that case, Weinstein would not be released until 2059.