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2 Key Members of R. Kelly’s Legal Team Jump Ship Before Federal Trial / VIDEO
Federal prosecutors in New York have filed a motion seeking permission to include evidence of alleged, uncharged crimes committed by R. Kelly at his upcoming sex trafficking trial.
The disgraced singer, 54, is set to stand trial in Brooklyn next month after being charged with 22 crimes, including child sexual exploitation, child pornography production, racketeering and obstruction of justice.
Prosecutors claim Kelly led an enterprise made up of managers, bodyguards and other employees who helped him recruit women and girls for sex.
On Friday, the prosecutors submitted a new filing asking a judge to admit evidence for other uncharged acts that they claim are 'directly relevant to and inextricably intertwined with the evidence of the charged crimes'.,
They include a shocking allegation that Kelly sexually abused a 17-year-old boy - known as John Doe #1 - after meeting him at a Chicago McDonalds in 2006 .
The documents further contend that that boy subsequently introduced Kelly to another underage male, identified only as John Doe #2.
Several years later, the prosecutors claim Kelly began a sexual relationship with John Doe #2. They also allege the star forcing several of his 'girlfriends' - including a minor - to have sex with the young man as he filmed them.
Federal prosecutors in New York have filed a motion seeking permission to include evidence of alleged, uncharged crimes committed by R. Kelly at his upcoming sex trafficking trial. He is pictured during a court hearing in September 2019
Kelly is pictured in 2006 - the same year he allegedly began a relationship with a 17-year-old boy he met a McDonald's
In addition to the shocking sexual allegations, the new filing implicates Kelly in the bribery of a Cook County clerk in February 2019 - the same month the Cook County State Attorney's Office charged the star with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
The prosecutors say a “crisis manager” for Kelly gave the clerk $2,500 and a 'burner phone' to get inside information on the legal issues.
The legal filing comes less than four weeks before Kelly's trial is scheduled to commence.
A judge recently granted a slight delay in the trial, pushing back opening statements from August 9 to August 18 after Kelly obtained a new legal team.
He is currently being held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Ghislaine Maxwell is another high-profile inmate at the prison.
The legal filing comes less than four weeks before Kelly's trial is scheduled to commence. Kelly is pictured in a court sketch earlier this month
A judge recently granted a slight delay in the trial, pushing back opening statements from August 9 to August 18 after Kelly obtained a new legal team
The federal trial will revolve around claims that Kelly and a group of managers and bodyguards recruited women and girls for sex.
Federal prosecutors say the group selected victims at concerts and other venues and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly. The Grammy Award-winning singer denies ever abusing anyone.
He is also facing state charges in Minnesota, Illinois and New York but his federal trial will happen first. It was delayed several times since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
He was charged in the wake of the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, where multiple women told their stories of being abused by him.
In the docuseries, several women claimed that he and his entourage starved them and deprived them of their cellphones.
They allegedly controlled when the women slept, and also forced them to have sex with each other.
He has always denied any wrongdoing and in an interview with Gayle King, he exploded and claimed he was the victim of a set-up.
If convicted, Kelly could spend the rest of his life in prison.
The federal trial will revolve around claims that Kelly and a group of managers and bodyguards recruited women and girls for sex. Pictured, in September 2019
R. KELLY ACCUSER AWARDED JUDGEMENT AFTER SINGER DEFAULTS ON SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT
What’s the saying? What goes around comes around.
Yup, that’s the one, and it’s also exactly what R&B singer R. Kelly has to be feeling currently, as he’s lost not one, but two attorneys from his legal team, just over a month and some change before his federal trial set to happen on August 9.
Attorneys Steven Greenberg and Michael Leonard — who’ve been with Kelly for years — have now come to their senses and filed documents requesting to withdraw from the singer’s federal case, reports TMZ. Their alleged reason for wanting to pull out is all about a clash with other members of Kelly’s legal team regarding inadequate experience with Kelly’s type of case.
“We refused to try a case with lawyers who don’t have the appropriate level of experience and skill because that is not in the client’s best interest. It is a shame that lawyers can’t suppress their egos or self-interest and do or act in the client’s best interest,” Greenberg and Leonard told TMZ.
Now, that would be too much right for everyone to have the same story, so of course, the attorneys still on Kelly’s case have a different side to reveal. Yet, the bottom line is that everyone is not on the same accord and that internal conflict by default puts Kelly’s case in jeopardy.
The judge does still have to approve the attorneys removal request, although nothing is final yet. It’s also unofficially stated that Kelly’s case has a low probability of winning.
The fallen R&B star remains in custody while awaiting trial for multiple charges including racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, forced labor and bribery. he still tries to be released on bail.
Kelly has remained in custody while awaiting trial, and although he’s filed several motions to get out on bail — citing things like fear of catching COVID — the judge has repeatedly turned him down
He’s also facing separate charges of sexual abuse in the state of Illinois, Leonard is not on that case, but Greenberg is, and we’re told he plans to withdraw from that one too.
Fans taunt R. Kelly's alleged victims as Attorney Michael Avenatti’s indictment for fraud, extortion could impact Kelly's case
*A woman who sued R Kelly for sexual abuse has been awarded a default judgement in her favor, after the embattled singer failed to appear in court.
According to Page Six, Heather Williams filed the case against Kelly last year, claiming she had a sexual relationship with the R&B hitmaker in 1998 when she was 16, which she now views as abusive.
Kelly’s former attorneys in the case withdrew last month, saying they felt “that circumstances have evolved that prevent the counsels from zealously advocating on behalf of the defendant.”
When Kelly failed to respond to her complaint last year, the judge made a default judgement in Williams’ favor last April. But his attorneys were able to convince the court to reopen the case. We previously reported.. Kelly’s legal team said he had not responded due to his illiteracy, as he was unable to read the summons he had been sent, so he did not know there was a civil case against him.
Kelly hasn’t appeared in court to defend himself from the suit, so a Chicago judge ruled Tuesday that he defaulted on the civil lawsuit filed by Williams.
The case will be up for a final hearing on March 10.
The ruling came days after R. Kelly’s former landlord in Chicago sued him for $3.4 million in back rent for his studio space.
Meanwhile, R. Kelly is scheduled for an April trial in Chicago on multiple sex crime charges.
He’s also scheduled to go to trial in July in Brooklyn on racketeering, sex-trafficking and bribery charges.
Earlier this month, R. Kelly was slapped with new federal charges that he sexually abused a minor over a four-year period. He will be arraigned on the new indictment on March 5.
On Monday, attorney Michael Avenatti was arrested on charges of fraud and extortion. Now, a high powered lawyer being accused of crime is unfortunately not the most astonishing news these days. However, Avenatti’s indictments could have ramifications for another major case currently gripping headlines: R Kelly’s sexual abuse charges.
Avenatti may be best known as the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, the porn star who accused President Donald Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen of paying her hush-money to cover up an affair she’d had with the then-reality star. Much of Avenatti’s career has in fact been centered around such cases involving “powerful people and powerful corporations.” In regards to Kelly, it was Avenatti who handed Chicago police two videos that allegedly show the R&B singer engaged in sexual acts with underaged girls.
Now, Avenatti is facing serious charges of his own in two states. In California, he was indicted for bank and wire fraud tallying millions of dollars, including embezzling from clients and falsifying tax returns. He was also arrested in New York on extortion charges stemming from threats he made to Nike regarding allegations the company paid high school basketball players and concealed the transactions. Avenatti allegedly demanded $20 million to either keep quiet about the potentially illegal payments or be salaried the sum to investigate the matter within the company.
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, believes these charges call Avenatti’s credibility into question. Speaking with TMZ, Greenberg said the “chain of custody” that led to the videos getting to Cook County officials is suddenly murky.
Sources claim Avenatti received one of the tapes from an unidentified individual with a history of attempting to extort Kelly. The man reportedly told prosecutors that he’d received almost a million dollars from Kelly’s team to keep the tape secret. Greenberg pointed out that if the whistle-blower was already paid, how did Avenatti get the tape?
The long and the short of it is that Greenberg thinks the charges against Avenatti provide him with the opportunity to convince a jury that Avenatti lacks credibility. If Greenberg can get them to believe there’s a chance the tape was altered somewhere down the line, that puts a reasonable doubt in their mind, and Kelly could find his case dismissed.
That said, this is only one of two tapes believed to be in the position of Cook County. At the same time, Avenatti expects to be “fully exonerated,” as he said a press conference you can watch below.
While all this is going on, Kelly has been arrested and released twice. He was first held on 10 charges of sexual abuse when a woman paid his $1 million bail. Earlier this month, he was arrested again for unpaid child support. This time, he was bailed out by an unidentified benefactor.
Supporters of the troubled singer are using the lawyer's arrest to argue that sexual abuse case against him should be dropped
Following the arrest of Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing several accusers of R. Kelly and their families. The R&B singer’s fans and supporters are sending personal and social media messages to his alleged victims discrediting their claims and saying charges against the singer should now be dropped.
According to The Blast, Kelly’s accusers have been receiving a lot of hate mail from fans of the singer once the lawyer, who also represented President Trumpwhistleblower Stormy Daniels, was booked by federal agents for trying to extort millions of dollars from sports apparel giant, Nike. Reportedly, Avenatti met with Nike officials and told them “it’s always bullsh*t 90% of the time,” in reference to victims’ claims against R. Kelly.
Recently, the lawyer turned over three tapes which he claims shows evidence of Kelly sexually abusing minors. Avenatti is representing two alleged victims, two whistleblowers, and two parents of an alleged victim.
But the singer’s supporters say Avenatti has proven to be corrupt and the evidence he has turned in to prosecutors should not be allowed in court. The Blast’s sources counter that prosecutors have their own evidence against the singer and would not need Avenatti’s.
Further, the Cook County State’s Attorney Office will likely call on the alleged victims during criminal court proceedings without needing any help.
The damage from Avenatti’s booking toward the R. Kelly case is negligible, according to Gerald Griggs, the attorney representing the family of Joycelyn Savage.
“The effect of the arrest of Michael Avenatti for unrelated allegations by the Justice Department is problematic for Mr. Avenatti. However, the effect against the R. Kelly case will be minimal as the ten charges are based on four independent accusers and other information independent of Mr. Avenatti,” Griggs told The Blast.
Avenatti was arrested by federal agents for allegedly trying to extort $22.5 million from Nike. The lawyer allegedly threatened negative publicity against Nike before an earnings call. He met up with Nike reps and also, allegedly, brought up Kelly’s case and mentioned President Donald Trump.
Steve Greenberg, Kelly’s attorney, has mocked Avenatti. He says he is volunteering to represent Avenatti, “since I hear he needs a good lawyer,” according to The Blast.
Avenatti was released from jail in New York after two people co-signed his $300,000 bond. Next up, he will appear in California to face separate criminal charges for bank fraud and wire fraud.