A day after two of R. Kelly lawyers filed a motion to withdraw from a high-profile criminal case months away, the disgraced R&B star told a federal judge they did not stop. They were fired, the singer said.
The topic came up at a hastily assembled status conference on Tuesday, which followed movements to retire as a lawyer by Kelly̵
“Unfortunately, it seems that Mr. Kelly over time has not made the best decisions and I fear he does now. But that’s not my problem. I wish him the best. I hope he wins this case, “Greenberg said Daily news. “You want to take the highway, but they’re just getting over him, these two.”
At a virtual status conference in Brooklyn Federal Court on Wednesday, R. Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, finally got his opinion – of sorts.
“First of all, I apologize for the confusion, and I’m grateful you give me the chance to say something about it,” Kelly said.
But the U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly interrupted Kelly before giving him a chance to say something further, reminding him that it is generally unwise for clients to file unprepared statements in court without consulting their attorneys.
Earlier in the hearing, Donnelly asked if it was true that Kelly wanted to fire Greenberg and Leonard.
“Absolutely,” Kelly told the judge. “Yes, madam, your honor.”
Donnelly had learned it from Farinella, one of Kelly’s remaining lawyers.
This connection had been absent in a briefing on one side of Greenberg and Leonard on Tuesday.
“While we are aware that this request is close to the trial – and even though we are ready to proceed to the trial as planned in August – our reasons for withdrawal are important and it is in our opinion impossible for us to be in able to continue to properly represent Mr. Kelly in the current circumstances, ”Greenberg wrote in a letter on a page on behalf of himself and Leonard. “If the Court deems it necessary, we are willing to act as effective emergency advisers.”
Greenberg went on to pan out his co-counsel in court, claiming they cannot handle the stress of the case.
“It got to the point where we discussed these concerns with Mr. Kelly, Mr. Kelly did not want to meet with us, ”Greenberg said.
Farinella told the judge that the situation was more complicated than the other lawyers revealed.
“I think Mr Greenberg and Mr Leonard are really killing because Mr Kelly has the sixth amendment to choose a lawyer,” Farinella said. “I think this court should accept Mr. Kelly’s decision.”
Judge Donnelly reminded the parties that the written record is currently thin and ordered the parties to submit briefings.
“I accept Mr. Kelly’s representation that he no longer wants Mr. Greenberg and Mr. Leonard to represent him, ”she said.
Kelly is prosecuted in Brooklyn for alleged rejection and other charges, accusing him of being a violent abuser of women and girls. A subsequent indictment last year introduced another alleged victim: “Jane Doe # 6. “His trial is scheduled for August 9.
(Antonio Perez / pool / Chicago Tribune)
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