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Harvey Weinstein and prominent defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman part ways

Attorney and disgraced moviemaker issue joint statement, confirming split.

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By David K. Li

Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein and his high-profile lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, formally announced Thursday that they are parting ways.

The two issued a joint statement saying that they will tell a Manhattan Supreme Court judge that Weinstein will have a new lead lawyer. Weinstein's trial date in New York is set for May 6.

NBC News reported Monday that the lawyer and client were planning to go separate ways.

"Both parties have agreed to part ways amicably and Mr. Brafman has agreed to cooperate fully with new counsel for Mr. Weinstein so as to ensure an orderly transition," the statement said.

"Mr. Weinstein praised Mr. Brafman for his legal work to date and Mr. Brafman reiterated his belief that Mr. Weinstein would be exonerated of the charges that have been filed against him," the statement said.

"Mr. Weinstein intends to introduce his new legal team by early next week."

Weinstein has been charged with raping an unidentified woman in 2013 inside a hotel room and in 2006 performing a forcible sex act on another woman. Weinstein, who remains free on $1 million bail, has steadfastly denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex with the accusers.