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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

R. Kelly loses three lawyers before New York racketeering trial

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Two months before disgraced R&B superstar R. Kelly is set to face trial in federal court in Brooklyn, three members of his defense team have asked to withdraw from the case.

According to the Chicago Sun, Chicago based lawyers Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard demanded to withdraw from the case on Monday and Billboard has confirmed that New Jersey Attorney Douglas Anton is also no longer an official part of the team.

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However the remaining lawyers on the case have claimed that Greenberg and Leonard were fired before they could quit.

R. Kelly's pile of legal issues just got bigger
R. Kelly’s pile of legal issues just got bigger

Speaking to the Chicago Sun, Greenberg said prosecutors were notified of his and Leonard’s decision to withdraw from the case on Monday.

“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,” read Greenberg’s letter to the judge.

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Leonard also confirmed that he and Greenberg have withdrawn from representing Kelly who is being held on sex abuse allegations.

Kelly’s trial date has been slated to commence on the 9th of August, 2021. It is not clear if this new development will lead to the postponement of the case for the singer who has already spent nearly two years behind bars.

R Kelly has been plagued by accusations of sexual misconduct since the 1990s (Getty Images)
R Kelly has been plagued by accusations of sexual misconduct since the 1990s (Getty Images)

Leonard and Greenberg did not go into details on why they both decided to withdraw from Kelly’s case but they both sent a statement to the Sun-Times ‘suggesting a dispute over trial responsibilities’.

They however wished him well and highlighted that they were rooting for him. They also denied allegations that they were both fired from the trial with Leonard saying, “I did not receive such communication from Mr. Kelly.”

R. Kelly has been kept in custody of Chicago’s downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center since he was arrested in July 2019, although authorities recently hinted that they are preparing to move him to New York for the trial.

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