As previously reported, R. Kelly is set to appear before a judge on August 9th for charges associated with sex trafficking and exploitation — among other things. Now, just two months before the trial, TMZ has exclusively reported that R. Kelly’s legal team is losing two members. Lead attorneys Steven Greenberg and Michael Leonard allegedly filed paperwork on Monday to withdraw from the ongoing case, according to TMZ.
Steve revealed in April that R. Kelly is “looking forward to the trial” because his time in jail hasn’t been “easy” as a public figure. Well, sometime between then and now an alleged “power struggle” has led to a “clash” among members of R. Kelly’s legal team, TMZ reported. This clash reportedly led to Steve and Michael filing the withdrawal paperwork.
“We refused to try a case with lawyers who don’t have the appropriate level of experience and skill because that is not in the client’s best interest,” Steven and Michael told TMZ. “It is a shame that lawyers can’t suppress their own egos or self interest and do or act in the client’s best interest.”
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However, the remaining lawyers on R. Kelly’s team are painting a different picture than Steve and Michael. Attorneys Thomas Farinella and Nicole Blank Becker allegedly told TMZ that Steve and Michael’s departure wasn’t voluntary.
“The only comment we have at this time is that Mr. Kelly terminated both lawyers prior to filing their motion,” Thomas and Nicole told TMZ.
As you may already know, the judge on the case has to give the sign-off approval before Steve and Micheal can be fired. According to TMZ, that “hasn’t happened.” Still, Steve and Michael seem to be standing solid on their decision to leave the team citing inexperience with federal criminal cases by Thomas and Nicole as their primary reason.
“”We wish Mr. Kelly nothing but the greatest success,” the departing lawyers shared with TMZ.
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