Content Warning: This article about R. Kelly discusses sexual abuse and domestic violence. If you or someone you know is affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Two lead attorneys working alongside R. Kelly have requested to withdraw from the disgraced musician’s forthcoming federal sex trafficking case in New York.
The two Chicago-based attorneys, Steven Greenberg and Michael Leonard, filed documents to withdraw from the case on Monday, June 7th. Greenberg and Leonard cited disagreements with other attorneys representing R. Kelly as the reason for withdrawal.
“Our reasons for withdrawal are significant and it is impossible, in our belief, for us to be able to continue to properly represent Mr. Kelly under the current circumstances,” Greenberg wrote to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly.
“We refused to try a case with lawyers who don’t have the appropriate level of experience and skill because that is not in the client’s best interest,” the two attorneys said in a statement to TMZ. “It is a shame that lawyers can’t suppress their own egos or self interest and do or act in the client’s best interest.”
Alongside Greenberg and Leonard, attorneys Douglas Anton, Thomas Farinella, and Nicole Becker were set to represent Kelly. As TMZ reports, Anton, Farinella and Becker claim that “that Mr Kelly terminated both lawyers prior to filing their motion.”
R. Kelly is set to face trial in Brooklyn on August 9th. He is facing charges of racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, forced labor, kidnapping, enticement, and bribery. Kelly is also facing sexual abuse charges in Chicago.
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He is currently awaiting trial in custody at Metropolitan Correctional Centre.
Back in April, an associate of R. Kelly, Michael Williams, was sentenced to a minimum of 60 months in prison, after being found guilty of setting one of the rapper’s accuser’s car on fire, in an intimidation attempt.