Harvey Weinstein has hired Bill Cosby’s lawyer to appeal his conviction in Los Angeles for sexual assault and rape, after a jury found him guilty and sentenced him to 16 years in prison.
The former film producer, whose exposure as a sexual predator in October 2017 via investigations by the New York Times and the New Yorker precipitated the #MeToo movement, has hired Michael Freedman and Jennifer Bonjean as his lead legal counsel. Bonjean got Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction in Pennsylvania overturned on a legal technicality in 2021. The disgraced comedian, who has been accused by more than 60 women of rape, was released from prison after serving two years of a 3-to-10 year sentence.
Bonjean has defended some of the most high-profile men accused in the #MeToo movement, including the R&B singer R Kelly, who was found guilty on charges of sexual and child abuse in 2022, and Nxivm sex cult leader Keith Raniere, who was sentenced to 120 years in prison in October 2020.
Her firm’s website claims Bonjean, who has the words “not guilty” tattooed on her arm, “works tirelessly to reverse the convictions of innocent people wrongly incarcerated”.
Freedman and Bonjean will also represent Weinstein in his civil suit against Evgeniya Chernyshova, whose testimony about rape and sexual assault by Weinstein in 2013 led to his conviction in Los Angeles. Chernyshova filed a civil suit against Weinstein after the trial seeking compensation for physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of earnings, and cost of medical and psychological treatment as a result of the rape.
The judge in Los Angeles ordered Weinstein to serve his prison terms consecutively, meaning he would not be freed until 2059, when he would be 107 years old.
Weinstein is also appealing his conviction in New York, where he was sentenced to 23 years for sexual assault in 2020. He is currently serving his New York prison sentence at the Mohawk correctional facility in Rome, New York, which is a medium-security prison for men.