Howard Weitzman, a longtime Hollywood energy legal professional and accomplice with Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert legislation agency who represented prime celebrities from Marlon Brando to Michael Jackson to John DeLorean, has died at age 81, Selection has confirmed. An announcement from the household is predicted on Thursday.
As soon as some of the distinguished legal professionals within the nation, Weitzman represented Jackson throughout his headline-making battles towards youngster molestation allegation from a 13-year-old boy within the early Nineties to mid Nineties. Weitzman additionally gained fame as the primary legal professional to signify O.J. Simpson in June 1994 when the previous soccer nice was investigated and arrested on suspicion of the double homicide of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her good friend, Ron Goldman.
Weitzman bowed out after a couple of days when legal professional Robert Shapiro stepped in. Simpson was acquitted in 1995. Weitzman was later vocal in interviews that he believed Simpson was responsible of the brutal crime.
“There are folks whose opinions are that the fallacious verdict was arrived at in that trial. I’m one who holds that opinion,” Weitzman advised Los Angeles Enterprise Journal in 2002.
Weitzman was well-known all through the trade as a fixer with connections to assist kind out sticky conditions. He labored carefully with non-public investigator Anthony Pellicano, who relocated to Los Angeles from Chicago at Weitzman’s behest to work on auto magnate John DeLorean’s many authorized entanglements. Pellicano went to federal jail in 2008 after being convicted of wiretapping, racketeering, conspiracy and fraud. He was launched in 2019.
Weitzman additionally represented the Jackson property in a lawsuit over HBO’s 2019 documentary “Discovering Neverland.” Considered one of Weitzman’s largest latest triumphs got here when an appeals court docket reversed an unpaid royalties verdict for producer Quincy Jones, lowering the Jackson property’s legal responsibility to round $2.5 million from $9.4 million.
Different purchasers in recent times included pop star Justin Bieber, producer Ivan Reitman, singer Axl Rose and mega showrunner Chuck Lorre throughout his 2011 battle with “Two and a Half Males” star Charlie Sheen.
Weitzman was a local of Los Angeles who earned a legislation diploma from USC. He nabbed his first high-profile case in 1973 because the court-appointed legal professional for Manson member of the family Mary Brunner, who bore a baby with Charles Manson. He was additionally represented members of the Black Panthers in authorized instances, in keeping with a 2015 interview he gave to California Tremendous Legal professionals journal.
In his Nineties heyday Weitzman made common TV appearances on such exhibits as CNN’s “Larry King Reside” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“I’ve been lucky over time to signify a number of the most excessive profile instances and personalities,” Weitzman advised Tremendous Legal professionals. “I undoubtedly don’t take a look at myself as a celeb.”
A graduate of USC Regulation, Weitzman served from 1995-1998 as exec VP of company operations for Common, the place he was accountable for restructuring the company a part of the enterprise. Weitzman’s appointment raised eyebrows because it coincided with the acquisition of the studio by Seagram Co. in 1995. After Common he joined the digital startup Huge Media, which was envisioned as a authorized different to the pioneering music file-sharing service Napster, however the firm shuttered in 2000. From there, Weitzman returned to non-public apply as a accomplice with Proskauer Rose.
Over his lengthy profession, Weitzman was lead trial legal professional in over 200 civil and felony jury trials, and represented over 1,000 people and firms on issues starting from mental property and leisure points to household legislation and property points.
Different court docket instances concerned enormous awards within the Hulk Hogan and Erin Andrews invasion of privateness instances.
A-list purchasers for the litigator, transaction legal professional and strategic adviser included each main movement image studio, expertise businesses William Morris Company, ICM and CAA, and such high-profile names as John DeLorean, Morgan Freeman, Magic Johnson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and Sean Combs.
Weitzman’s high-profile and trade connections landed him cameos in such films as 2005’s “Thank You for Smoking” and in a 2014 episode of the Steven Bochco TNT drama “Homicide within the First.” He additionally served as a authorized marketing consultant to “Homicide within the First” and Bochco’s 1995-96 ABC drama “Homicide One.”
Survivors embody his spouse, Margaret Weitzman, and two sons.