Judge Warns Harvey Weinstein’s New Lawyers About McGowan Conflict

A New York judge on Friday approved a new defense team for disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein but warned that two of the lawyers face a potential conflict of interest because they represented one of his accusers, Rose McGowan, in a Virginia drug case.

Justice James Burke told lawyers Jose Baez and Ronald Sullivan that if McGowan ends up testifying when Weinstein is tried for allegedly sexually assaulting two other women, they could not use any damaging information they have against her, according to the New York Law Journal. Burke also noted that McGowan has an email that Weinstein sent his Los Angeles attorney, Blair Berk, after McGowan suggested that cocaine had been planted in her bag to discredit her and mute her rape allegation about Weinstein. In the email, Weinstein writes, “Obviously trying to silence her,” and Berk responded: “I took care of getting that arrest warrant issued against her back on February 1 just so there would be no fingerprints. Damn.” In court on Friday, Weinstein’s departing attorney, Ben Brafman, said the exchange was just a sarcastic comment on the absurdity of McGowan’s frame-up claim.

As The Daily Beast has reported, Brafman and Weinstein parted ways after the fallen Hollywood producer went in search of other high-profile lawyers for a dream team. Baez and Sullivan previously won acquittals for Casey Anthony and Aaron Hernandez, respectively. They will be joined by Pamela Mackey, who is best known for representing Kobe Bryant in a rape case.