Who was Howard Weitzman? Hollywood lawyer who repped Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson and Marlon Brando dies at 81

Who was Howard Weitzman? Hollywood lawyer who repped Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson and Marlon Brando dies at 81
Lawyer Howard Weitzman has died at 81 (Getty Images)

Legal world's prime mover Howard Weitzman has died aged 81. He passed away after a long battle with cancer, said a representative of his firm, Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert. Weitzman was the founding partner of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert and represented some of the biggest names from the entertainment world. 

Weitzman also worked with high-worked Hollywood executives including Ron Meyer who was forced to resign as Chairman of Universal Studios after his sexual liaison came to light. Here's a look at Weitzman's long-standing career wherein the litigator became the face of countless high-profile cases and negotiations. 


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Attorney Howard Weitzman (Getty Images)

Who was Howard Weitzman?

Born in Los Angeles in 1939, he passed the California bar exam in 1966. He became a managing partner at Weitzman Wyman Bautzer in 1986 and co-founded Katten Muchin Zavis & Weitzman in 1991. He left to become executive vice president for corporate operations at Universal Studios from 1995 and left in 1998 to resume private practice.

He first gained fame by successfully defending auto entrepreneur John Z DeLorean against drug trafficking charges. Weitzman defended actor Hugh Grant after he was arrested with a prostitute. He defended Dr Arnold Klein after producer Mike Medavoy's wife claimed she fell seriously ill after the botox treatment she received at his facility. In the early '90s, Weitzman had also represented OJ Simpson who was arrested for murder but later on he stepped down from the case citing overwhelming workload.

Howard Weitzman (Getty Images)

Weitzman repped Marlon Brando and also helped Courtney Love regain the custody of her daughter from her marriage to Kurt Kobain. She had lost custody after she was arrested at a former boyfriend's house in 2003 and later tested positive for cocaine.

Michael Jackson's flourishing estate

After Michael Jackson's death in 2009, Weitzman combined forces with John Branca and recording executive John McClain to help free the late pop singer's estate from debt. A few years later, the estate was flourishing courtesy the sale of Jackson's 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing to Sony Corp which was arranged by Weitzman.

Courtney Love and Howard Weitzman (Getty Images)

Weitzman was also an actor

After representing the who's who of Hollywood, Weitzman also served as an adviser to film productions and it was also during this time that he started acting on camera. He appeared onscreen in the films 'Thank You for Smoking' and 'Corky Romano' and served as a legal adviser for the TV series 'Murder in the First' among other credits. Weitzman had been married twice — first to Stacey Weitzman from 1969-1976. He then tied the knot to Margaret Weitzman. He had two sons, Jed Weitzman and actor Armen Weitzman.

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