R. Kelly tells judge he fired 2 of his lawyers as they move to quit case

R. Kelly
(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Two lawyers for R. Kelly are set to leave the case ahead of his sexual abuse trial, something the disgraced R&B star insists was his decision.

Lawyers Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard filed a request in court to withdraw from Kelly's case on Monday, saying they no longer want to represent him while citing issues with his other two lawyers, ABC News and The New York Times report.

"While we realize that this request comes close to trial — and although we are ready to proceed to trial as scheduled in August — our reasons for withdrawal are significant, and it is impossible, in our belief, for us to be able to continue to properly represent Mr. Kelly under the current circumstances," Greenberg wrote, per ABC News.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Kelly, who is facing racketeering charges, told the judge on Wednesday that he fired the lawyers from his team, Reuters reports. Greenberg, though, told ABC News that he and Leonard already decided to withdraw before Kelly fired them. Greenberg also told The New York Times that he tried twice to meet with Kelly to discuss his concerns about his other lawyers, but Kelly refused.

"It's unfortunate because these other people are clueless," Greenberg told the Times. "But that's his choice. You can't save someone from themselves."

Greenberg and Leonardy previously told TMZ they "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," while the other attorneys, Thomas A. Farinella and Nicole Blank Becker, asserted, "Mr. Kelly terminated both lawyers prior to filing their motion."

With these two lawyers remaining on the case, the trial is set to begin on Aug. 9.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us