Prosecutors recently dropped their charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett after he was accused of faking a hate crime. Speaking with TMZ, R. Kelly's lawyer Stevel Greenberg thinks the dismissal of Smollett's case doesn't bode well for the disgraced Chicago singer.
"I think it makes it more difficult for a friendly disposition because they’re going to be extremely reluctant to admit they brought these cases with scant evidence or that there are any other problems," Greenberg explained. State's attorney Kim Foxx could be looking at Kelly's case as a chance to "redeem themselves."
Kelly is currently facing 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and he had been seeking permission to leave the country despite previously forfeiting his passport upon arrest. He was looking to leave the country to play a series of shows in Dubai, but in a rare statement, Dubai's government confirmed that there had never been any plans for him to play there at all.
TMZ reports that the travel request has now been withdrawn during a hearing on Monday, which Kelly did not attend due to illness. Greenberg said he knew that his travel chances were "slim." However, Greenberg has requested to see all communication between state attorney Kim Foxx and Michael Avenatti. Kelly's lawyer added that Avenatti, who was been indicted on fraud on extortion charges, could have manipulated Foxx into siding against Kelly.
In responding to Greenberg's claims, Avenatti replied, "[Greenberg] is now trying to distract attention away from the clear guilt of his client by raising bogus arguments about me and Kim Foxx. The evidence is the evidence. Multiple witnesses/tapes, plus DNA. R Kelly will be convicted for his sexual abuse of girls." Avenatti was responsible for submitting a tape of Kelly allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl to Cook County investigators.