R&B singer R. Kelly’s attorney blamed fellow lawyer Michael Avenatti for tainting the sex abuse case brought against his client, who has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing multiple underage girls and a woman.
Steve Greenberg claimed Monday in a court filing that in Illinois, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx was in a hurry to prosecute due to pressure from Avenatti. Greenberg said there’s been "a rush to prosecute because of pressure — all polluted — by Michael Avenatti." According to Greenberg, Foxx "got in bed with Avenatti and Avenatti is toxic."
Avenatti, who represents one of the alleged victims in the sex abuse case, claimed in February he provided Cook County prosecutors with a VHS tape that depicted Kelly sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl. The footage played a role in one of the indictments against Kelly.
In response to Greenberg’s accusations, Avenatti said Greenberg “is now trying to distract attention away from the clear guilt of his client by raising bogus arguments about me and Kim Foxx” and “the only thing that has ‘polluted’ the R. Kelly case is Steve Greenberg and R. Kelly’s never ending bullshit.”
“Steve Greenberg is a hack who will grasp at anything to save his pedophile client R Kelly from life in prison,” Avenatti tweeted Monday. “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.”
Foxx has faced a rising tide of criticism in recent days. She is the same prosecutor involved in dropping charges against actor Jussie Smollett after he was accused of staging an attack against himself. Although Foxx’s office said in February she had recused herself from Smollett’s case, amid concerns she may have violated state law, her spokeswoman revealed last week she did not recuse herself from the case. There have also been calls for an investigation into text messages exchanged between Foxx and Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff Tina Tchen, who is a close friend of the Smollett family.
Greenberg said Foxx “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.”
Greenberg also requested to view all communications between Foxx and Avenatti, according to the motion he filed Monday.
“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 the answers."