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Star defense lawyer resigns from Weinstein team

Defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman (L), seen here with Harvey Weinstein(R) after a court hearing in New York on December 20, 2018, is withdrawing from the movie mogul's sexual assault case
Defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman (L), seen here with Harvey Weinstein(R) after a court hearing in New York on December 20, 2018, is withdrawing from the movie mogul's sexual assault case AFP
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New York (AFP)

Benjamin Brafman, the star lawyer who succeeded in getting some charges against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein reduced, has resigned from representing the movie producer in his sexual assault case.

"I'm withdrawing" from the Weinstein case, Brafman told the New York Post. He declined to comment to AFP.

According to the tabloid, the resignation was partly due to Weinstein's plans to expand his legal team.

A New York legal eagle, Brafman, 70, successfully defended Dominique Strauss-Kahn in his 2011 rape case and has represented rapper Jay-Z and music producer Sean "Diddy" Combs.

Since Weinstein's May 2018 indictment, Brafman has brought evidence of errors in the prosecution's investigation, which led to charges being dropped stemming from complaints brought by one of three alleged victims.

He has also produced a series of emails between Weinstein and another woman who accused Weinstein of rape, arguing that they showed the two were in a "long-term, consensual, intimate relationship."

In November, Brafman asked New York Supreme Court Justice James Burke to dismiss the entire case, but the motion was rejected, paving the way for a probable trial.

The case's next hearing is set for March 7 and a trial could begin in May.

Since October 2017, Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than 80 women, including prominent actresses such as Ashley Judd and Angelina Jolie.

The case brought in New York is the only one that has resulted in criminal proceedings against Weinstein.

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