We’re learning more about how singer R. Kelly is defending himself against allegations that he sexually assaulted three underage girls and one woman. His attorney Steve Greenberg filed a motion demanding the preservation of communications between State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and lawyer Michael Avenatti, while questioning the appropriateness of Avenatti’s involvement in the case.
“There are serious questions whether Kim Foxx was bullied or just simply manipulated by Avenatti and others,” he wrote in the motion obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. “The communications are key to uncovering the answers.”
Greenberg smells blood in the water. The filing is a patent attack on Avenatti, highlighting the lawyer’s recent, unrelated federal cases for extortion and fraud. This has nothing to do with Kelly, though Greenberg argued Avenatti joined the case as a “new diversion.” At any rate, as far the singer’s case is concerned, the defense suggested that something untoward might have happened.
“Avenatti has publicly claimed, in writing and otherwise, that he repeatedly spoke with State’s Attorney Foxx regarding an alleged sex tape, and her course of action, as well as generally about how R. Kelly should be prosecuted,” said the filing.
Avenatti represents Lanita Carter, a woman who said Kelly sexually assaulted her when she was 24. She’s named in court documents by her initials, and she’s the only one of the alleged victims to have been an adult at the time of alleged abuse. Avenatti also represents a source who allegedly provided video of Kelly having sex with an apparently 14-year-old girl.
Greenberg complained that the lawyer, who is not licensed to practice in Illinois, wasn’t restricted in what he could say about the case that way Foxx was.
“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,” said in a tweet posted to Avenatti’s now-private Twitter account. “The evidence is the evidence. Multiple witnesses/tapes, plus DNA. R Kelly will be convicted for his sexual abuse of girls.”
Greenberg has also complained about prosecutors, arguing that they may go harder on his client after they controversially dropped charges against actor Jussie Smollett over an alleged hate crime hoax.
Unlike most stolid filings, Greenberg’s document reads like it was written for the media, and as a bid to redirect public opinion for his client. Kelly’s memorable, tearful denials in a CBS interview garnered loads of mockery on social media. Though the singer beat back a child pornography case in 2008, the prosecution dinged his reputation, and he was famously lampooned on shows like Chappelle’s Show, which poked fun at the allegations against him.
[Image via Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images]