Rapper R. Kelly has reportedly fired half of his legal team just two months before his trial is set to begin. Attorneys Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard had requested to withdraw from the case while Tom Farinella and Nicole Blank Becker remain on his team.
Greenberg supposedly spoke to CNN and concluded that Kelly was “insistent that we work with people who we felt would be rendering in effective assistance as counsel.” Leonard added to that and stated that he and Greenberg were uncomfortable with the idea of “giving responsibility to those who haven’t tried a lot of federal criminal jury cases.” However, both Farinella and Becker claim that Kelly had terminated Greenberg and Leonard prior to their request to be withdrawn.
Just last week, Greenberg had claimed that both he and Leonard had received a document that stated that they would be the power of attorney for Kelly but when they tried to meet with Kelly, he supposedly did not want to meet with them.
Farinella commented on the withdrawal by stating that Kelly did not want Greenberg or Leonard working on his case representing him any longer, which is what prompted him to terminate them. Although half of his legal team has been let go, it currently does not have any affect on the timing of Kelly’s trial date.
Kelly has been facing multiple sex trafficking charges as well as several federal racketeering charges. He is currently being held in federal prison in Chicago, where he is facing federal and state charges, without bail. Kelly has pled not guilty to all of his current charges.
It is suspected that Kelly will be moved to New York shortly before his trial, which will take place in Brooklyn. The trial is currently scheduled to begin on August 11 with questioning from the jury to take place prior to the hearing on August 9.