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.
Jose Baez received a judge's permission to leave Harvey Weinstein's defence team, the latest of several changes to the former movie mogul's legal representation.
"I think this type of a case requires the right lawyers", Rotunno said after the court session.
Weinstein responded through his spokesman, saying: "With a lawyer like Donna Rotunno, I feel like I'm the one who won the lottery".
The charges stem from an incident in 2004 in which Lucia Evans said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex. Jose Baez, Weinstein's previous lead attorney who has represented the likes of Casey Anthony, also appeared in the courtroom to get Burke's OK for the switch of attorneys.
Weinstein engaged in behaviour that made representing him "unreasonably hard to carry out effectively" and insisted on taking actions "with which I have fundamental disagreements", Baez wrote.
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.
However, Baez expressed that he and Weinstein did not get along and wanted out of the case.
Attorney Gloria Allred said after Thursday's pretrial hearing that she agrees women are responsible for their own choices.
The two accusers in the criminal case are among some 70 women, mostly young actresses and women in the film industry, who have accused Weinstein of sexual assaults dating back decades.
The judge asked Weinstein on Thursday if that was OK with him.
After approving Baez's request to withdraw from the case, Judge James Burke called him to the bench for a one-on-one chat that lasted about five minutes.
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. Again there was no court reporter to make a record of the conversation.
The swap comes after another Weinstein lawyer, Harvard law professor Ronald Sullivan, left in May amid backlash about his involvement.
Weinstein is charged by New York State prosecutors in connection with two instances of alleged sexual assault.
"Emotion of this case has taken over", Rotunno told reporters outside the courthouse.
The 67-year-old producer has been slapped with charges of rape as well as performing a sex act on another woman from 2006.
His current team also includes Damon Cheronis and Arthur Aidala, a New York City lawyer whose clients have included rapper 50 Cent, the late Fox News chief, Roger Ailes.