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5 Things To Know About Harvey Weinstein’s Lawyer, Benjamin Brafman

Prominent New York attorney Benjamin Brafman is once again in the news for representing a high-profile client, this time the former Hollywood mogul and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein. The criminal defense lawyer has gone to bat for several notable figures, including P. Diddy and Charles Kushner. But how much do we know about the man himself?

He is an Orthodox Jew.

Much of his extended family were victims of the Holocaust, he told the Observer in 2000. Both of his parents survived, and after moving to the U.S., they raised a tight-knit family in Brooklyn. Now a Long Island resident, Brafman credited his sanity to both his family and religiosity — were it not for his observance of Shabbat on Friday nights and Saturdays, he said, “I would have probably died a long time ago.”

He has a great — and self-depreciating — sense of humor.

Brafman is a self-described “short Jewish guy,” New York magazine reported. He confidently shares that he’s five-foot-six, often joking about his stature in court. His humor stems from childhood: He did stand-up comedy at bar mitzvahs and in the Catskills.

He didn’t need a fancy degree to find success.

After attending a yeshiva high school, he took night classes at Brooklyn College and eventually got his J.D. from Ohio Northern University Law School. He later received a Master of Laws from New York University.

He’s been honored by several charities.

Brafman was honored with the Israel Cancer Research Fund’s “Beacon of Hope Award” in 2014 after being named by New York Magazine as the “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in New York.”

His clients include high-profile celebrities.

Brafman has represented Michael Jackson, former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, NFL star Plaxico Burress, Mafia boss Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli and Sean Combs (who went by “Puff” at the time, and once called Brafman “My Yiddisher Tate” — My Yiddish Daddy — at a benefit). Most recently, he is representing Weinstein, the once-powerful movie producer who has been accused of sexual misconduct and harassment by more than 80 women.

Contact Alyssa Fisher at fisher@forward.com or on Twitter, @alyssalfisher

This story "What To Know About Weinstein’s Lawyer Benjamin Brafman" was written by Alyssa Fisher.

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