R. Kelly‘s lawyer addressed the media shortly after the disgraced singer turned himself in Friday night and was arrested for his indictment on ten counts of sex abuse brought against him earlier in the day.
Steve Greenberg boldly told reporters that he didn’t believe any of the women who have accused the singer of an array of sex charges, including child sex abuse. He also said the charges shouldn’t apply to his client because they were “the same thing” as the child porn charges R. Kelly was acquitted of in 2008. That, Greenberg said, constituted the Double Jeopardy Clause in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Greenberg said that the evidence prosecutors have built their case on stems from a videotape allegedly containing footage of R. Kelly having sex with the same 14-year-old girl that he was accused of having sex with on video during his trial from more than a decade ago. Only now, Greenberg said, now prosecutors were charging “something else, but it’s the same thing and double jeopardy should apply.”
Greenberg went on to take some cheap shots at Michael Avenatti, the attorney who announced last week that he gave the new video to the Cook’s County State’s Attorney’s Office. R. Kelly’s lawyer asked the media rhetorically why prosecutors were not investigating Avenatti for distributing child porn.
“I’ve never seen the tape,” Greenberg insisted before taking aim at Avenatti and the accusers.
“I think all the women are lying,” he said. “I don’t believe anything Michael Avenatti says. He blocked me from his Twitter account because he’s a coward.”
Avenatti said last week that he was hired last April in connection to multiple allegations of Kelly sexually assaulting minors. He claimed to have a 45-minute VHS tape as evidence, which, despite its similarities, was not the same video got Kelly indicted in 2002 — and acquitted in 2008 — for child porn.
Greenberg said Friday’s indictment caught him by surprise and that he expected to meet with the Cook’s County State’s Attorney’s Office next week based on prior communication.
Instead, “They just decided to indict him today for whatever reason,” Greenberg said. “The state’s attorney should be above public pressure.”
Friday’s indictment and arrest came one day after two more women came forward with their own claims of being victims of Kelly’s sex abuse.
“The Double Jeopardy Clause in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits anyone from being prosecuted twice for substantially the same crime. The relevant part of the Fifth Amendment states, “No person shall . . . be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb . . . .,” according to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. However, “Not every sanction qualifies under the Double Jeopardy rule,” it added.
Kelly was scheduled to appear in bond court Saturday despite his arrest on a “no bond” warrant. If convicted, Kelly faces up to three to seven years in prison for each of the 10 counts he’s been charged with.