With one lawyer bolting amid public backlash and another saying he and his client just couldn't get along, a judge on Thursday approved a request to recast Harvey Weinstein's defense team yet again, this time a mere 60 days before the disgraced movie mogul is due to stand trial in NY on sexual assault charges.
Now, a judge has approved a change to the legal team, allowing Weinstein to bring in Donna Rotunno and Damon Chernois.
"I believe he has been railroaded", she said.
During her brief remarks, Rotunno said Weinstein, who faces five counts of sexual assault and misconduct stemming from reported incidents in 2006 and 2013, has been "railroaded" by the #MeToo movement.
His former attorney, Jose Baez, quit in June citing communication problems with his client and non-payment of fees.
One of Weinstein's accusers, actress Rose McGowan, blasted Baez and Sullivan for agreeing to represent Weinstein after defending her in a drug case past year.
A lawyer for one of the accusers in Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault case is taking aim at his new counsel's remarks about the #MeToo movement.
She added that she and Cheronis are "honored to list Mr Weinstein".
Rose said in response to the news that she believes her case didn't go to trial because the lawyers involved had been paid to ignore it.
"I chose to represent Harvey Weinstein because I think these are the types of cases that lawyers that do what I do live for", Rotunno said outside the courthouse after the hearing.
Thursday's hearing on the lawyer switch played out in open court, but two conversations among the judge and lawyers happened in secrecy.
Prison expert Donna Rotunno makes comments with diversified people of Harvey Weinstein's unusual ethical team of workers at Unusual York Enlighten Supreme Court in Unusual York, July 11, 2019.
Later, he called all the lawyers to the bench for a 10-minute discussion of how they'll proceed when it comes time for jury selection. Again there was no court reporter to make a record of the conversation.
Lawyer Jose Baez is going to court Thursday to get a judge's permission to leave the case.
Weinstein hired the new lawyers, both based in Chicago, last month.
One lawyer bolted in May amid public backlash and another now says he and Weinstein just couldn't get along.
As the accusations against Weinstein mounted, his company Weinstein Co fired him and filed for bankruptcy, and he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Harvard law professor Ronald Sullivan left in May.
According to USA media reports, the founder of the Miramax studios and The Weinstein Company has reviewed his defense strategy several times, and thought that having a woman heading his team would make a more favorable impression on the jury in a sexual assault case.