Last week, Cook County prosecutors dismissed the charges against “Empire” actor, Jussie Smollett, just weeks after a grand jury indicted him for filing a false report. Days later, Michael Avenatti, who represents two R. Kelly victims, was indicted on charges of fraud and extortion.
But now, in the wake of recent events, an attorney for the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B says the negative attention is all bad for Kelly’s case.
At first, Kelly’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg called Avenatti’s credibility into question and inquired about the “chain of custody” of the sex tape, which was brought forth by Avenatti as an important part of the sexual abuse case. Then, Greenberg opened up about Smollett’s case and acknowledged that Smollett’s slap on the wrist might have eliminated Kelly’s chances for a plea deal.
“I think it makes it more difficult for a friendly disposition because they’re going to be extremely reluctant to admit they brought these cases with scant evidence or that there are any other problems,” Greenberg told TMZ, adding that Kim Foxx and her team may want to use Kelly’s case as redemption.
After that, Greenberg – once again – placed the blame on the now-charged attorney, who ultimately initiated the legal process against Kelly. In Monday’s pretrial hearing in Chicago, Greenberg accused the state’s attorney of working too closely with Avenatti, adding that the attorney’s involvement ultimately “polluted” the case.
Greenberg said attorneys rushed “to prosecute because of the pressure – all polluted – by Michael Avenatti,” claiming, they “got in bed with Avenatti and Avenatti is toxic.” To further prove his claim, Kelly’s attorney asked a judge to collect all communications between Avenatti and the state’s attorney and to look into how Avenatti gathered the evidence to bring forth the charges against Kelly.
“Avenatti has acted as a de facto prosecutor in the Kelly case,” apparently, “with the full cooperation” of Foxx, Greenberg said in his filing, adding that Avenatti acted “as an agitator” for the state’s attorney “saying what she could not.”
“Given the allegations against him one must wonder what he has told those he has interacted with in these matters, and what is true and what is not,” Greenberg said, as he accused the attorney of only following Kelly’s case amid his own legal losses. “Obviously, he has been using his accusation against this defendant to divert from his own misconduct. He drums up problems for others to deflect from his own.”
Elsewhere in the filing, Greenberg accuses Foxx of being bias by using her own experience with sexual abuse as a trigger for charges against Kelly and notes the fact that she recused herself from the Smollett case after speaking with a member of the actor’s family.
“Plainly, this particular State’s Attorney is able to be influenced and wowed, as evidenced by the facts of her recusal and the subsequent series of events in the Jussie Smollett case.”’
In the meantime, Avenatti has fired back via Twitter.
“Steve Greenberg, R Kelly’s atty, is now trying to distract attention away from the clear guilt of his client by raising bogus arguments about me and Kim Foxx. The evidence is the evidence. Multiple witnesses/tapes, plus DNA. R. Kelly will be convicted for his sexual abuse of girls,” Avenatti wrote. “Steve Greenberg is a hack who will grasp at anything to save his pedophile client R Kelly from life in prison. His claims are bogus. There was never anything improper about our involvement in the case, and we are going to continue to press forward. DNA/video evidence do not lie.”
“The only thing that has “polluted” the R Kelly case is Steve Greenberg, and R Kelly’s never-ending bullshit,” he said.