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Friday, June 11, 2021

R. Kelly Decides To Let Go Of Half Of His Legal Team Right Before Sex Crimes Trial

In recent news, R. Kelly himself has confirmed that he has decided to part ways with some members of his legal team, which includes two criminal defense lawyers. This decision came mere weeks before the singer goes on trial in New York for charges of sexual abuse. 

While participating in a status hearing on the phone with Ann Donnelly, the U.S. District Judge, the incarcerated singer claimed that he had let go of two of his attorneys, namely, Michael Leonard and Steven Greenberg. 

The District Judge asked Kelly again to confirm that he wanted to drop the pair from representing him, to which he affirmed that he did.

Moreover, Donnelly made it clear that the trial would not be delayed any longer. She also did not issue a ruling right away, with respect to the motion, while the discussion was ongoing. Instead, she did make a call to Leonard and Greenberg, both, to ask them to explain why exactly they decided to step down. 

The two colleagues had previously filed legal papers, looking to withdraw themselves from the counsel of the embattled star. They had clashed with two of his other lawyers, Nicole Becker and Thomas Farinella. 

Greenberg further revealed in an interview that as trial lawyers, they were not professionally comfortable with significant trial responsibilities being assigned to lawyers, who had never experienced, nor tried, federal criminal cases before in court. He stated that it was not in the interests of the client, nor anyone else involved. 

On the other hand, Becker and Farinella continued to insist that the other two lawyers had indeed been fired. They claimed that the pair had not withdrawn but, were let go first. 

The I Believe I Can Fly singer was initially supposed to stand trial against accusations of racketeering and sex trafficking last year. But he is now going to appear in court in the month of August. 

Kelly also has to stand trial for a separate case related to child pornography in September, in Chicago, Illinois. The singer has pleaded that he is not guilty on all counts in both trials. 

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