Following charges of fraud and extortion against Michael Avenatti, R. Kelly’s legal team filed a motion seeking all communication between the celebrity lawyer – who represents two of Kelly’s alleged victims – and the Cook County State Attorney’s Office.
In the motion, filed Monday, Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg argued that prosecutors, namely State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, relied too heavily on evidence presented by Avenatti in order to secure the sexual abuse charges against Kelly.
Greenberg also questioned, given Avenatti’s current predicament, the authenticity of the allegations Avenatti brought to prosecutors. “The case laid dormant till Mr. Avenatti joined in. Then it was miraculously resurrected, although nothing had changed,” Greenberg wrote in the motion. “Fifteen years later. This is unheard of.”
Greenberg continued, “From (evidence) that has been tendered it appears that the only ‘investigation’ done before these charges were brought (in 3 of the 4 cases) was a State’s Attorney investigator reading old reports, an interview with a Michael Avenatti client, and the prosecutors speaking with Avenatti. The lack of any meaningful investigation of these stale allegations is outrageous.”
The motion also weaved in the controversial dropping of felony charges against Jussie Smollett, with Greenberg questioning whether Foxx was “influenced and wowed” by Smollett’s lawyer Mark Geragos; that lawyer is reportedly a co-conspirator in the Nike extortion charges filed against Avenatti.
“Here there are serious questions whether these attorneys influenced their clients and the narrative. There are serious questions whether Kim Foxx was bullied or just simply manipulated by Avenatti and others,” Greenberg wrote. “The communications are key to uncovering answers.”
Avenatti responded to Greenberg’s motion in a series of tweets: “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. 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. The only thing that has ‘polluted’ the R. Kelly case is Steve Greenberg and R. Kelly’s never ending bullshit.”
A hearing regarding Greenberg’s motion was set for May 7th. At Monday’s hearing, Greenberg also, for the time being, withdrew Kelly’s travel request to perform Dubai concerts, following reports that the sheikdom did not invite the singer to the U.A.E.
Greenberg, Avenatti and the Cook County State Attorney’s Office did not respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment at press time.