More than a week after a lawyer for Harvey Weinstein promised a big lawsuit against The New York Times over the paper’s detailed October 5 piece on allegations of sexual harassment against the mogul, that legal threat has gone away, as has the lawyer.
Joining the likes of the already exited Lisa Bloom and Lanny Davis, Charles Harder is no longer working for the ex-The Weinstein Company co-chair, Deadline has confirmed. “He has been gone for about a week,” a source says of the Harder Mirell & Abrams attorney, adding that Harder’s services were “no longer required.” We hear that Harder was sent a termination letter last week after stepping down a few hours beforehand.
With Harder’s departure, the notion of a multi-million-dollar action against the NYT has disappeared as well.
Neither Harder nor Weinstein’s PR team at Sitrick and Company responded to a request for comment on the situation. Which is a contrast to October 5 when Harder was very outspoken.
“It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by 9 different eyewitnesses,” the lawyer said on October 5 about the NYT article. “We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.”
Backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, Beverly Hills based Harder hit the headlines last year when he helped convince a Florida jury to award Hulk Hogan $140.1 million in the wrestler’s battle with Gawker (the website had published portions of a sex tape). The matter was later settled in the fall of 2016 with a $31 million deal and the demise of Nick Denton’s online empire.
Terminated from TWC on October 8 as more allegations emerged, Weinstein’s already stained reputation took a near fatal hit on October 10 when the New Yorker published an explosive article that further detailed harassment claims and even alleged rapes. Both the NYPD and UK police are now actively looking into the matter and the LAPD is likely poised to as well.
In such a hailstorm, Weinstein, who was booted from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences on Saturday, has hired top Tinseltown litigator Patricia Glaser and heavyweight criminal lawyer Blair Berk.
Taking on the Oscar winning producer being shown the door of the company he still owns 23% of, Glaser will be meeting with the remaining TWC board on October 17 in what is unlikely to be a smooth sit down.