FILE PHOTO: Singer Robert Kelly, often known as R. Kelly, is pictured in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on this March 6, 2019 handout reserving picture. Prepare dinner County Sheriff’s Workplace/Handout by way of REUTERS
June 10, 2021
By Tom Hals
(Reuters) – R. Kelly informed a federal choose on Wednesday that he fired two of his protection attorneys, exposing deep rifts within the singer’s authorized protection crew forward of his August intercourse abuse trial in New York.
Kelly confirmed to U.S. District Choose Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn that he fired Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard, leaving him with two protection attorneys.
“Is that what your want is?” Donnelly requested Kelly throughout a listening to carried out by phone.
“Completely, sure ma’am, your honor,” he responded.
Kelly’s remaining attorneys, Thomas Farinella and Nicole Becker, mentioned they are going to maintain getting ready for the scheduled Aug. 9 trial.
The listening to briefly included allegations by Greenberg that unidentified members of the protection crew had “documented psychological well being points” and “can’t take care of stress.”
Donnelly requested that Greenberg and Leonard clarify in writing why they have been pulling out. She additionally mentioned she wouldn’t delay the trial, which was initially scheduled for Could 2020.
Farinella and Becker couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.
Recognized for such hits as “I Consider I Can Fly” and “Bump N’ Grind,” Kelly, 54, has confronted sexual abuse allegations relationship again greater than twenty years, together with within the January 2019 Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”
The Grammy Award-winning singer has pleaded not responsible to all legal fees in instances filed in New York, Illinois and Minnesota, and has been held with out bail for practically two years.
Brooklyn prosecutors accused Kelly of working a legal scheme by which girls and underage ladies have been recruited to have sexual exercise with him.
The Chicago case consists of fees that Kelly engaged in intercourse acts with 5 minors, and used threats to maintain victims quiet.
In keeping with court docket data, a trial is scheduled for September, however the choose has requested either side to suggest a brand new date.
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; further reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; modifying by Jonathan Oatis)