Keeping Harvey Weinstein’s Secrets, Part 1: Lisa Bloom

Last week, our colleagues Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published a book documenting their investigation of Harvey Weinstein. In writing it, they discovered information about two feminist icons — Gloria Allred and her daughter, Lisa Bloom — that raises questions about their legacies and the legal system in which they’ve worked. Today, we look at the role of Ms. Bloom, a lawyer who represented Mr. Weinstein.

Weinstein Reaches $44 Million Deal in Sexual-Misconduct Case

The $44 million proposal includes about $30 million allocated for plaintiffs, a broad category that includes alleged victims, former Weinstein Co. employees and studio creditors, and would cover the plaintiffs’ lawyers fees, according to the same people familiar with the matter. About $14 million would be used to pay legal fees of Mr. Weinstein’s associates, including his former board members who were named as defendants in lawsuits, the people said.

The money would come from insurance policies, including those held by his former studio, the people said.

The proposed agreement wouldn’t affect a criminal case pending against Mr. Weinstein in Manhattan, which charges him with rape and other sex crimes. He has pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex. His trial is scheduled to begin in September.

The civil lawsuits, filed by women in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, name more than 15 defendants, including Mr. Weinstein and associates who were on the company’s board. Some of the alleged incidents in a proposed class-action lawsuit go back more than 25 years. The women claim Mr. Weinstein’s associates helped facilitate his alleged sexual abuse, which they have denied.

A lawyer for plaintiffs in the proposed class-action suit didn’t respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for insurance company Chubb Ltd. and a lawyer for a committee representing Weinstein Co. creditors declined to comment.

The Case Against Harvey Weinstein, Explained

How soon will he go on trial? It is hard to predict, but it could be more than a year. For starters, a grand jury has yet to indict Mr. Weinstein. That must happen within six months.

.. Why didn’t Mr. Weinstein enter a plea in court on Friday? Mr. Weinstein hasn’t been indicted, so no plea is necessary. Defendants typically do not enter a plea of guilty or not guilty upon being arraigned

.. Will Mr. Weinstein testify? He does not have to and often, if the evidence appears especially strong, the defendant will opt not to take the witness stand. However, if there is one accuser — and it boils down to a “he-said, she-said,” debate — the defendant might choose to make the case a credibility contest and testify to deny the allegations.

.. Who is his lawyer? Benjamin Brafman, a former Manhattan prosecutor, is Mr. Weinstein’s current criminal lawyer. Regarded as one of the sharpest trial lawyers in the city, he has successfully defended a who’s who of influential people, including Sean Combs, the rap star, against gun possession and bribery charges in 2001. In 2011, he fended off a sexual assault allegation made against Dominique Strauss-Kahn

.. Mr. Weinstein has been represented in the past by Elkan Abramowitz, a partner at the law firm Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, who took up his case in connection with accusations, in 2015, that he had sexually assaulted an Italian model, Ambra Battilana, in Manhattan.

Hollywood Contemplates Looking in the Mirror, Then Turns Away

Last night’s Academy Awards featured a lot of generalities and not much inspiration or speaking truth to power.

Last night’s Academy Awards broadcast was Hollywood’s way of addressing the sexual-harassment scandal without really addressing it, discussing it without really discussing it, and assuring the public that all the worst stuff is in the past and that no one needs to worry about it anymore.

Yes, it was nice to see Ashley Judd and Annabella Sciorra again, up on stage alongside Salma Hayek. But no one involved in the ceremony could ever quite come out and say why those three were up on stage.

.. The president’s defenses of protectionism are incoherent babble that is just factually wrong; Trump insists that “our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead” when the U.S. Department of Commerce figures show that since the beginning of 2009, the six major U.S. steel companies have collectively reported net earnings for 20 quarters.
.. The president still hasn’t figured out that you can’t change government policy as quickly and impulsively as you type out and send a Tweet.

By midnight Wednesday, less than 12 hours before the executives were expected to arrive, no one on the president’s team had prepared any position paper for an announcement on tariff policy, the official said. In fact, according to the official, the White House counsel’s office had advised that they were as much as two weeks away from being able to complete a legal review on steel tariffs.

There were no prepared, approved remarks for the president to give at the planned meeting, there was no diplomatic strategy for how to alert foreign trade partners, there was no legislative strategy in place for informing Congress and no agreed upon communications plan beyond an email cobbled together by Ross’s team at the Commerce Department late Wednesday that had not been approved by the White House. 

.. By Thursday afternoon, the U.S. stock market had fallen and Trump, surrounded by his senior advisers in the Oval Office, was said to be furious.

.. This reminds me of Steve Bannon’s “plan” to announce the immigration restrictions without any warning in the first days of Trump’s presidency. No one in the rest of the government was prepared to implement them; John Kelly, then the secretary of Homeland Security, learned from television that Trump had signed the order.

..  he’s flat-out wrong when he claims, “Maybe it’ll cost a little bit more, but we’ll have jobs.”

.. the decline of jobs in the steel and aluminum industries predates the competition with China by decades. Industry experts know that this is mostly because of innovation and industry consolidation. The era of labor-intensive metal production is over.