NYC Taxpayers Pay for Celebrity Lawyer To Defend Mayor in Sexual Assault Suit

April 9, 2024

New York City Hall on Monday indicated it will use taxpayers’ money to pay for a celebrity lawyer to defend New York City mayor Eric Adams against a lawsuit containing allegations of sexual assault dating back to 1993. 

Attorney Alex Spiro will serve as co-counsel for Adams, according to a court notice filed on Monday by the New York City Law Department. Spiro is a prominent lawyer who has represented high-profile figures, including Elon Musk, Jay-Z, and Alec Baldwin. 

Spiro’s appointment came just weeks after Sylvia Hinds-Radix, head of the law department, determined the city would pay for Adams’s legal representation as he was a city employee at the time of the alleged sexual assault. The law department said it will be charged $250 an hour for work by law partners and $175 for work by associates in Adams's case.

Adams allegedly sexually assaulted a colleague while he was working for Transit Police in 1993. Lorna Beach-Mathura filed a lawsuit on March 18 claiming Adams begged her to perform oral sex in his car before masturbating and ejaculating on her. She said she had asked Adams for career advice and that Adams was giving her a ride home. 

Beach-Mathura also said Adams "in retaliation for refusing his quid pro quo sexual demands" transferred her to another department where she was demoted and later laid off. 

Adams has denied Beach-Mathura’s accusations and said he does not remember meeting her. "While we review the complaint, the mayor fully denies these outrageous allegations and the events described here; we expect full vindication in court," Hinds-Radix said in a statement.