R. Kelly ’s defense team is going after the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, accusing the prosecutor of colluding with celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti who they say manipulated her into charging the singer with sexual abuse, CBS News reports.
Defense attorney Steve Greenberg is banking on email evidence that he says proves that Foxx was pressured, bullied or manipulated by Avenatti to file charges in haste. He is seeking a court order to obtain email communications between Foxx and Avenatti to prove his case.
“We know what happened in this case was a result of his pressure, and nothing else,” Greenberg said. “That’s what happened in this case; a rush to judgment, a rush to prosecute, because of pressure all colluded by Michael Avenatti.”
Avenatti was behind bringing a 45-minute VHS tape allegedly showing Kelly having sex with an underage girl to the attention of Foxx back in February. Foxx’s office handed down a 10-count indictment of aggravated criminal sexual assault, involving four alleged victims, three who were allegedly underaged, eight days later.
On Monday, Greenberg filed the motion. The new tactic may also have to do with the fact that Foxx recused herself from the Jussie Smollett because of communication she had with his friends and close family members. Eventually, Smollett’s charges were dropped fully from by the prosecution office. He’s likely seeking the same result for Kelly.
“We’ve already seen that State’s Attorney Foxx has conversations with people about pending cases, pending investigations. I want to know what conversations she had with Avenatti about this case, about these facts, and what occurred,” he said.
Also, it doesn’t help that Avenatti was caught in a web of deception and was arrested on federal charges that extortion, wire fraud, and mail fraud for allegedly trying to extort Nike.
The case will be heard May 7, which Kelly must attend.
“The tip of the iceberg is the fact that counsel has already stated that Mr. Avenatti was the attorney for I believe all of these people. So we’re delving into the realm of attorney-client privilege,” she said.
There’s “all sorts of problems” with the case against Kelly, Greenberg said.
“When you get in bed with fleas, this is what happens,” Greenberg said.
He also said the tape is not new and is the same one from 2008, in the child pornography case that Kelly was ultimately acquitted of.
“There’s no new tape. Avenatti’s full of it when he said there’s a new tape,” he said.
“In 33 years of doing this, I’ve never seen a case where it’s rejected after a full investigation, and then 15-plus years later, without any re-investigation, just because the sort of public perception has turned, that it’s charged,” he said.