Meet Benjamin Brafman: DSK’s Celebrity Lawyer And The Man Who Defended Michael Jackson

benjamin brafman

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Meet the man tasked with trying to salvage DSK’s reputation and freedom: criminal defence attorney Benjamin “Ben” Brafman.Brafman can deliver “a perfectly modulated cross-examination, and is a savvy, gutsy tactician, an elegant manipulator, a jury charmer,” the NYT wrote in 2004.

He’s also “unapologetic, aggressive and possessed of a boundless immodesty… Fastidiously groomed, taut… and punchy.”

The 62-year-old defence attorney, and former Manhattan D.A, lives in New York and is no stranger to high profile clients.

He’s previously defended Sean Combs (aka P-Diddy — who called Brafman “Uncle Benny), Jay-Z and Michael Jackson. He cried in court when P-Diddy was aquitted of weapons and bribery charges.

Brafman joined forces with California lawyer Mark Geragos to defend Jackson against child molestation charges in 2004.

On that case, he told the NYT,

I’m not a snob about my practice. I’m a real lawyer! That’s what distinguishes me from ‘people who practice law.’ My clients can be notorious or controversial, and other lawyers will say, ‘Oh, we wouldn’t represent someone like that!’ Well, that’s because they don’t know how.

Why the heck would DSK chose the same man who defended Michael Jackson?

According to profile in NYMag, Brafman is the type of lawyer who manages to win “acquittals for people whom no one expected to walk.”

Take James Patino, cleared in 1990 of another murder that shook New York, the slaying of black teenager Yusuf Hawkins in Bensonhurst.

Or Vincent Basciano, one of 10 men charged in the 1994 Blue Thunder heroin-distribution trial, who got off after Brafman persuaded a jury that his client had actually been bragging about illegal gambling, not drugs, in wiretapped conversations.

And he got P-Diddy off even though the prosecution had a ton of eye-witnesses who testied to his guilt.

He also defended teenager Daphne Abdela — aka the “Baby-Face Butcher” — who was charged with stabbing real estate Michael McMorrow to death in Central Park. And he represented NFL star Plaxico Burress on weapon possession charges.

Brafman put himself through Brooklyn College and then studied law at Ohio Northern University.

One thing is certain about representing DSK — Brafman will be loving it; he described being asked to
bat for MJ “‘the greatest entertainer in the world” to being asked ‘to be a quarterback in the Super Bowl.'”