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Friday, July 16, 2021

Longtime Attorneys Of R. Kelly Granted Permission To Withdraw From His Case

The legal team for R. Kelly has been reshuffled once again. The longtime attorneys who used to represent the singer have been granted permission to take their leave from his case. This news comes just a couple of weeks before the trial is set to take place. 

Soon after Kelly hired two new lawyers, Nicole Becker and Thomas Farinella, to represent him, Michael Leonard and Steve Greenberg stated that it was not possible for them to work in cohesion with the newly hired attorneys. Consequently, they requested that they be allowed to withdraw from the case. Their request was accepted by Ann Donnelly, the U.S. District Judge. 

Just previously, Judge Donnelly had questioned Kelly during a hearing on the phone on the 9th of June, whether or not he would like to let the pair withdraw from his legal team. The singer had replied in affirmation, saying that he does not want to force them to stay.

In an interview, later on, Greenberg expanded on the disagreement that had taken place prior to his withdrawal. He said that as trial lawyers, he and Leonard were focused solely on the interests of the client and did not feel comfortable with assigning significant trial responsibilities to those lawyers, who had never tried federal criminal cases in court. According to him, their approach was not being well received by anyone involved in the case. 

Kelly is currently facing charges for leading an enterprise that recruits girls and women for sex. Prosecutors have alleged that associates would choose victims at concerts and other similar events, and then consequently arrange for them to reach the singer. 

However, these accusations have been directly denied by the star, who is due to appear in trial on the 9th of August in Brooklyn. 

In the month of September, the I Believe I Can Fly singer will also head to a separate trial to face child pornography charges. These proceedings will be held in his native Chicago, Illinois. 

In both trials, Kelly has chosen to plead not guilty to all counts. 

In other news, a sexual assault lawsuit, filed against Diplo, has been taken back. 

Previously, a woman, who can only be identified by her initials, alleged that the DJ forced her into carrying out acts of oral sex, while the two were attending an after-party, following a concert of his in 2019 in Las Vegas. She went on to claim that he also filmed the entire incident without asking for her consent. 

However, she has now chosen to withdraw her claims. The woman gave a statement through Joe Ortuno, her attorney, saying that looking at the evidence present and consulting with her lawyers, she regretted filing the lawsuit in the first place. Therefore, she claimed that she chose to take back her case and did not receive or request any payment, nor was it offered. 

Soon after the lawsuit was withdrawn, Diplo’s lawyer insisted that the false allegations of the woman have caused much harm.

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