FILE PHOTO: Singer Robert Kelly, referred to as R. Kelly, is pictured in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on this March 6, 2019 handout reserving picture. Cook dinner County Sheriff’s Workplace/Handout by way of REUTERS
June 10, 2021
By Tom Hals
(Reuters) – R. Kelly informed a federal decide on Wednesday that he fired two of his protection legal professionals, exposing deep rifts within the singer’s authorized protection group forward of his August intercourse abuse trial in New York.
Kelly confirmed to U.S. District Decide Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn that he fired Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard, leaving him with two protection legal professionals.
“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 legal professionals, Thomas Farinella and Nicole Becker, stated they’ll hold getting ready for the scheduled Aug. 9 trial.
The listening to briefly included allegations by Greenberg that unidentified members of the protection group had “documented psychological well being points” and “can’t cope with stress.”
Donnelly requested that Greenberg and Leonard clarify in writing why they had been pulling out. She additionally stated she wouldn’t delay the trial, which was initially scheduled for Might 2020.
Farinella and Becker couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.
Identified for such hits as “I Consider I Can Fly” and “Bump N’ Grind,” Kelly, 54, has confronted sexual abuse allegations relationship again greater than 20 years, together with within the January 2019 Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”
The Grammy Award-winning singer has pleaded not responsible to all legal prices in circumstances filed in New York, Illinois and Minnesota, and has been held with out bail for almost two years.
Brooklyn prosecutors accused Kelly of working a legal scheme by which girls and underage women had been recruited to have sexual exercise with him.
The Chicago case consists of prices that Kelly engaged in intercourse acts with 5 minors, and used threats to maintain victims quiet.
In line with courtroom data, a trial is scheduled for September, however the decide 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)