Rape retrial shakeup! Cosby brings Michael Jackson’s ex-attorney onto defense team

Bill Cosby has reportedly hired Tom Mesereau, the attorney who successfully defended Michael Jackson in his 2005 child molestation trial.

Sources told TMZ that Bill and Camille Cosby signed off on Mesereau, 67. A statement obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer revealed that Mesereau will join Kathleen Bliss and Sam Silver on the lead counsel team.

In addition to representing Jackson, the seasoned lawyer has defended Mike Tyson and rap kingpin Suge Knight. Mesereau is also known for landing an acquittal in actor Robert Blake’s murder trial.

Last month, Mesereau told TMZ that he predicted Cosby’s June mistrial and called the case against his new client “weak.” The Inquirer reported that he expressed interest in the case in 2015, when the comedian first faced charges for allegedly drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in her Philadelphia home in 2004.

The shakeup comes nearly a week after a second lead attorney quit Cosby’s legal team. According to USA Today, Philadelphia-based lawyer Brian McMonagle left the case last month, and, on Tuesday, Los Angeles attorney Angela Agrusa announced her intention to step down. Deadline noted that Agrusa will still serve as Cosby’s lead civil attorney as he faces numerous lawsuits from women across the country.

In light of the double departure, Cosby has sought for an August 22 pretrial hearing be delayed until September 11. Agrusa revealed in her motion to withdraw that the 80-year-old is assembling new counsel but several factors, including trial schedules and the “particularities of this high-profile and sensationalized matter,” are making the task difficult.

Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill will reportedly hear Cosby’s request on Tuesday.

[Featured Image: AP/Matt Slocum]