Welcome back to The Rainmaker, a private email about money, power, fame, and, most of all, the law.
As you might expect, I spent much of the past week at the riveting trial of Sam Bankman-Fried. At one memorable juncture, the defendant took the witness stand for a dramatic evidentiary hearing outside of the jury’s presence. Prosecutors shot tough questions at S.B.F. while his attorneys repeatedly cried foul. The spectacle was wild and intense, but regular readers of this newsletter won’t be entirely surprised, as I anticipated a few weeks ago that things were about to get tumultuous. I’ll have more insights about the trial, which is scheduled to conclude with closing arguments soon, in a separate email to follow.
In today’s edition, I wanted to provide some updates on a few colorful legal dramas I’ve previously showcased, specifically ones involving Ron Burkle, John Paulson, Anderson Cooper, Robert De Niro, Eddy Cue, and the lawyers who took on racial discrimination at Elon Musk’s Tesla.
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- The other Weinstein legal drama: Did the Saudis, or perhaps the Chinese, use the Harvey Weinstein scandal to cheaply acquire a stake in Quentin Tarantino’s film catalog? That revelation might be coming to an $80 million trial in Los Angeles. The case centers on what billionaire Ron Burkle feels Lantern Capital, the Texas private equity firm, owes him for his alleged assistance in Lantern’s 2018 acquisition of Weinstein’s former assets. Back in May, my partner Matt Belloni and I examined this under-the-radar legal fight, which was intensifying over an investigation into the value of Burkle’s investment in Yellowstone.
As the trial approaches, both sides have made motions asking the judge to exclude certain topics from the jury. Interestingly, Lantern is seeking an order that would prevent Burkle’s legal team from revealing...