The Death Row Records co-founder is facing murder, attempted murder, and hit-and-run charges following a fatal altercation on a California film set at the start of 2015, when he killed his friend, Terry Carter, and injured a second man, actor Cle Sloan.

He hired Mesereau, who successfully defended Michael Jackson against child molestation allegations in 2005, last May (15), but during a closed court hearing in Los Angeles on Thursday (21Jan16), it was revealed Mesereau was no longer representing Knight, and Stephen L. Schwartz, a former prosecutor, had been recruited as his replacement.

Sources tell the fall out between Mesereau and Knight occurred over what the 50-year-old insists was the leak of confidential information to authorities.

Mesereau has yet to comment on the news.

Knight has pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintains he feared for his life as he attempted to race away from the set in Compton after becoming involved in a fight. He remains behind bars on $10 million (£6.67 million) bail.