Harvey Weinstein back in court as judge approves new defence team

Harvey Weinstein Credit: Miramax/PRNewswire

Harvey Weinstein has appeared in court briefly as a judge approved changes to the legal team representing him in his rape and sexual assault case.

The fallen film producer is replacing defence lawyer Benjamin Brafman with four new lawyers, a move signed off at the New York City courthouse on Friday by Judge James Burke.

They include Jose Baez, who won an acquittal for Florida mother Casey Anthony on charges that she killed her young daughter.

Other members of the legal team are Ronald Sullivan, Pamela Robillard Mackey and ex-Manhattan prosecutor Duncan Levin.

Mr Weinstein, 66, did not comment as he entered the courthouse with his new lawyers.

The disgraced Hollywood mogul and Mr Brafman, 70, announced last week that they had "agreed to part ways amicably." The move came a month after they lost a hard-fought bid to get the case thrown out.

Mr Weinstein's trial is tentatively scheduled for May.

Speaking outside the courtroom, Jose Baez, Mr Weinstein's lawyer said:"He is innocent. That is what Harvey Weinstein has said to this court, that he is innocent of these charges when he plead not guilty."

The film producer is charged with raping a woman in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on another in 2006. He denies the allegations.