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R. Kelly's attorney accused the state's attorney Monday of succumbing to pressure from attorney Michael Avenatti in bringing sex-abuse charges against the R&B singer in Illinois, saying his involvement has irreparably tainted the case.
Steve Greenberg made the accusations in a court filing and in comments after a Monday pretrial hearing in Chicago, highlighting recent charges against Avenatti in New York that accuse him of trying to shake down Nike.
Greenberg - Reporters - Court - Rush - Pressure
Greenberg told reporters outside court there has been a 'a rush to prosecute because of pressure - all polluted- by Michael Avenatti'.
He said prosecutors 'got in bed with Avenatti and Avenatti is toxic,' and even compared him to Green Acres con man Eustace Charleston Haney.
Accusation - Office - Cook - County - State
The accusation that the office of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx cooperated too closely with Avenatti comes amid criticism of her office's handling the Jussie Smollett case.
In a surprise decision last week, Foxx's office dropped charges against Smollett that accused him of staging a racist, anti-gay attack on himself.
Avenatti - Role - Foxx - Charges - Video
Avenatti has said he played a central role in prompting Foxx to press for charges by providing her with video purporting to show Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old. Avenatti tweeted Monday that Greenberg was 'trying to distract attention away from the clear guilt of his client by raising bogus arguments about me and Kim Foxx.'
Foxx's office did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Greenberg - Seven-page - Filing - Cook - County
Greenberg's seven-page filing, which asks Cook County Judge Lawrence Judge to order the preservation of all communications between Avenatti and the state's attorney's office, also calls for an investigation of how Avenatti helped bring charges against Kelly. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually abusing three girls and a woman.
Greenberg said an inquiry was justified in light of the New York charges and separate case in California against Avenatti.
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