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What Do Jay-Z, Elon Musk, and Eric Adams Now Have in Common? The Same ‘Celebrity’ Attorney

Guess who's footing the bill! And more news for your Tuesday.

Mayor Eric Adams hosts “Talk with Eric: A Community Conversation” on Monday, April 8, 2024. (Benny Polatseck / Mayoral Photography Office)

Eric Adams has needed the assistance of a lot of lawyers during his time as mayor. There's the very expensive white-shoe firm WilmerHale, which he hired to represent him amidst a federal investigation into his 2021 campaign fundraising. And last month, after a former colleague, Lorna Beach-Mathura, alleged that the mayor sexually assaulted her while both were working for the New York Transit Police, the City's Law Department announced that it had decided to rep him in that civil suit, a choice that raised some eyebrows. Corporation Counsel Sylvia Hinds-Radix said that the mayor was "not getting any special treatment" in getting free legal representation from the City.

I guess the powers that be decided Adams needed more help in his defense against Beach-Mathura's claims—on Monday, it was revealed that the City has hired "celebrity" attorney Alex Spiro, of the firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, to serve as the mayor's co-counsel in the legal proceedings. And while this will all be paid for by our taxpayer dollars, don't worry—we're getting a discount. (Spiro is only charging us $250/hour.)

Spiro, as you may recall, has a wide roster of famous clients, including Jay-Z, Bobby Shmurda, Robert Kraft, and Elon Musk. As a 2023 New Yorker profile of Spiro noted, he "specialize[s] in protecting the rich and famous from the consequences of their poorest decisions" and is "Musk’s go-to lawyer." 

How much will Spiro's services cost us? The attorney Susan Crumiller, who regularly defends victims of sexual harassment and assault, told the New York Post that "seven figures is a conservative estimate" for the potential costs. As for why Adams would want Spiro on his legal team, Crumiller had this to say: "I think it means Eric Adams is scared and something shady is going on."

Other attorneys agreed that this move means Adams is perhaps more worried about Beach-Mathura's lawsuit than he has publicly stated. "They scoffed at whether any of us should pay attention because the allegations were so spurious—and this is not the behavior you’d expect in response to that," the civil rights attorney and Adams critic Janos Marton told Politico. 

And some links that will not protect the rich and famous from the consequences of their bad behavior:

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