Weinstein: I 'won the lottery' with new lawyer

Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein approved by judge to recast defense team

A NY judge approved fresh changes to the defense team of Harvey Weinstein on Thursday, less than two months before the former Hollywood producer's trial on sexual assault charges is set to begin on September 9.

The two new lawyers, Donna Rotunno and Damon Cheronis, appeared at a brief hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court before Justice James Burke to make their formal applications to take over Weinstein's defense before the September 9 trial date.

Afterward, Baez said: "I feel like I won the lottery".

"I agree that women are responsible for their own choices, but when will Mr. Weinstein be held responsible for his?"

A brand unusual lawyer for Harvey Weinstein says the movie mogul used to be "railroaded" by the #MeToo circulate.

"When you come forward and make an allegation and that allegation is deemed true, and we've seen many instances of that in our justice system, I think it's unsafe to say these women are so empowered and it's wonderful when there's a potential to ruin someone's life", she said.

They replace high-profile defense attorney Jose Baez, who withdrew from the case after Weinstein engaged in behavior that made "representation unreasonably hard", a source told CNN in June.

Baez, known for representing high-profile clients such as Casey Anthony, told Burke in a letter last month that Weinstein has tarnished their relationship by communicating only through other lawyers and by failing to abide by a fee agreement.

Weinstein's current team includes Damon Cheronis, from left, Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala.

Lawyer Jose Baez asked for permission to leave Weinstein's sexual assault case. Allred said. "Many accusers allege that Mr. Weinstein lured them to his hotel room under false pretenses that he wanted to assist them in their careers".

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.

She said she chose to represent Weinstein and believes the evidence is "very favourable" toward him.

Rotunno insisted that her use of the word "railroaded" was simply a way to affirm a question from a reporter, who had asked her Thursday morning if Weinstein had been "railroaded" by #MeToo.

After approving Baez's request to withdraw from the case, Burke called him to the bench for a one-on-one chat that lasted about five minutes with no court reporter to transcribe the conversation. This will be Cheronis and Rotunno's first time leading a court case in New York City.

Later, he called all of the lawyers to the bench for a 10-minute discussion of how they'll proceed when it comes time for jury selection. Harvard law professor Ronald Sullivan left in May amid backlash about his involvement.

The 67-year-old producer has been slapped with charges of rape as well as performing a sex act on another woman from 2006. That happened after his original lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, lost a hard-fought bid to get the case thrown out.

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