The New York Times is seeking “appropriate remedies” for “a grave betrayal of trust” after a New Yorker report revealed Monday that famed attorney David Boies’ law firm represented the paper at the same time Boies assisted efforts to derail a bombshell NYT expose of his client, Harvey Weinstein.
“We learned today that the law firm of Boies Schiller and Flexner secretly worked to stop our reporting on Harvey Weinstein at the same time as the firm’s lawyers were representing us in other matters,” Eileen Murphy, a New York Times spokesperson told TheWrap in an emailed statement. “We consider this intolerable conduct, a grave betrayal of trust, and a breach of the basic professional standards that all lawyers are required to observe. It is inexcusable, and we will be pursuing appropriate remedies.”
Boies Schiller and Flexner is currently representing the Times in two active cases, Murphy told TheWrap. The firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The New Yorker reported Monday that Weinstein employed an elite private investigation company to dig up compromising information about women accusing him of sexual misconduct, and journalists speaking to these women. This was part of an effort to scuttle reporting about Weinstein by the Times, the New Yorker, and New York magazine.
Weinstein’s representative Sallie Hoffmeister has denied the report, calling it “fiction” in a statement to The New Yorker.
According to the New Yorker, Boies personally signed the contract with the private investigation firm, Black Cube, and often monitored the progress of the operation on Weinstein’s behalf. Boies acknowledged limited involvement in the scheme, but told the New Yorker that he did not select the people Weinstein hired, and did not direct their work.
Boies also denied that his efforts on behalf of Weinstein while his firm represented The Times constituted a conflict of interest, and also denied pressuring any news outlet. The attorney told The New Yorker that he instead advised Weinstein that the only way to stop the story was “convincing the Times that there was no rape.”
Boies represented Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore in the 2000 election case Bush v. Gore, and was co-counsel on the legal team that won the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in Perry v. Brown.