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Howard Weitzman dead: Hollywood Power lawyer was 81

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Eriq Gardner, THR Esq.

His clients included Marlon Brando, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson.

Howard Weitzman, a device onHollywood journalistThe annual Power Lawyers roster to represent Marlon Brando, Morgan Freeman, Justin Bieber and other A-List stars has passed away. He was 81 years old.

Weitzman’s son Jed said Billboard that his father passed away peacefully at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday surrounded by his family, listening to music by his favorite artists, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and Joni Mitchell. A source said the cause of death was cancer.

It was on behalf of OJ Simpson in the 1990s that Weitzman made his mark to audiences outside of Hollywood. Prior to the arrival of the “Dream Team”, he represented Simpson when the former NFL star was arrested in connection with the brutal murder of ex-wife Nicole and her lover, Ron Goldman.

Weitzman initially told media that Simpson was on a flight to Chicago at the time of the murders, then withdrew from the case, citing a heavy workload. He was later publicly suspicious of his reasons for leaving Simpson, although he took credit for introducing Simpson to some of the other members of his legal team, including Johnnie Cochran.

(Ken Lerner portrayed Weitzman on the 2016 FX Limited SeriesAmerican Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson.)

Weitzman worked internally from 1995 to 1998 at Universal Studios, where he focused on restructuring, before returning to private practice, eventually co-founding entertainment law boutique Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert in 2006. .

Although Weitzman parted ways with Simpson, the lawyer nonetheless retained controversial clients throughout his career, perhaps no more than Michael Jackson, who regularly went through lawyers. (Coincidentally, the King of Pop had been portrayed earlier by Simpson’s attorney Robert Shapiro, and in an interview before his death, Weitzman last remembered seeing the artist at the memorial. de Cochran in 2005.)

After Jackson’s death in 2009, the co-executors of his estate turned to Weitzman to lead the litigation.

“It was a real roller coaster ride,” he said.THRin 2010. “Not a week goes by where something strange doesn’t happen. People claiming to be Michael’s wife or child are recurring.”

Recently he fought the IRS in a high-stakes property tax and HBO case over the 2019 sexual abuse documentary.Leaving Neverland.

An avid jazz collector, he was twice the recipient of the Jerry Geisler Memorial Award for his outstanding essay work in Los Angeles. He also sometimes covered Arnold Schwarzenegger, Courtney Love, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Sean Combs, Chuck Lorre and Magic Johnson.

Howard Lloyd Weitzman was born September 21, 1939. A 1965 graduate of the University of Southern California Law Center, he rose through the ranks to become a partner at Wyman, Bautzer, Kuchel & Silbert and began cultivating top clients.

In 1984, Weitzman represented notorious automaker John DeLorean in a closely watched narcotics lawsuit. DeLorean was acquitted despite being caught with a suitcase full of cocaine (Weitzman said it was a staging), and two years later Weitzman again succeeded in portraying the auto ruler. in a racketeering and tax evasion case.

Although he continually works in the public eye, Weitzman argued that the justice system would work best in private. “I’m one of those people who doesn’t like cameras in the courtroom,” he once told an interviewer. “I believe it changes the way people act, ie lawyers, witnesses, judges. I think the cover can taint a jury in one way or another.”

Survivors include his sons, Jed and Armen, the latter known for playing Servant Garfield in the 2015-2018 Comedy Central series.Another period. He was married to Stacey Weitzman (who later married actor Henry Winkler) and interior designer Margaret Weitzman.

In addition to representing high profile clients in a wide variety of fields, Weitzman has advised film productions and even played on-screen roles, appearing in black comedy.Thanks for smoking(2005), directed by Jason Reitman (a client), and on the 2014-16 TNT legal dramaMurder in the first. For this Steven Bochco series, he played a recurring character named “Howard Weitzman”.



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