Milo Yiannopoulos’ lawyers will no longer represent the far-right provocateur in his $10 million breach-of-contract suit against publishing giant Simon & Schuster.
In a Monday filing in New York State Supreme Court, Stephen Meister and Jeffrey Weingart of Manhattan firm Meister Seelig & Fein formally announced that they were withdrawing as counsel for Yiannopoulos.
In a previous filing, Weingart attributed the split to a “breakdown” in the attorney-client relationship, citing Yiannopoulos’ insistence on “pursuing actions” with which his attorneys had a “fundamental disagreement.” Weingart also cited “irreconcilable differences” between attorney and client which he said he could not expand on because of confidentiality concerns.
Last February, after videos emerged in which Yiannopoulos appeared during an interview to condone pedophilia, Simon & Schuster canceled Yiannopoulos’ $225,000 contract for his autobiography “Dangerous.” Yiannopoulos sued the publisher in July, claiming breach of contract.
In a statement provided to TPM, Yiannopoulos blamed Simon & Schuster’s discovery tactics for the rupture with his lawyers, claiming the publisher tried to shield documents pertinent to his case form him and from the public.
“I will now be representing myself pro se, so I can directly see the material” Yiannopoulos said in the statement. “I look forward to revealing Simon & Schuster’s perfidy in court.”
In late December, Simon & Schuster filed court documents that included the draft of the manuscript turned in by Yiannopoulos, marked up with scathing notes from editor Mitchell Ivers. The documents were offered to explain why the publisher backed out of the project.
In an affidavit, Ivers called the draft “superficial and non-substantive.”
This post has been updated.