R. Kelly lawyer says Avenatti has 'polluted' sex-abuse case

CHICAGO (AP) — 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 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."

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 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.

26 PHOTOS
R. Kelly through the years
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R. Kelly through the years
CHICAGO - DECEMBER 20: Embattled R and B singer R. Kelly (C) heads to court December 20, 2002 in Chicago, Illinois. Kelly faces 21 counts of child pornography stemming from a videotape that surfaced, allegedly depicting the singer having sex with a minor. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
R. Kelly performs at The United Center in his hometown, Chicago. 05/15/99 (Photo by James Crump/WireImage)
R. Kelly (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK - JUNE 10: American recording artist, songwriter, record producer and former professional basketball player R. Kelly doing a signing on June 10, 1992 at the BMG Distribution Conference Room in New York City. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)
Singer, R. Kelly on stage during a concert at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. (Photo by Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
NETHERLANDS - APRIL 01: Photo of R KELLY (Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns)
NETHERLANDS - APRIL 01: Photo of R KELLY (Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns)
8 Feb 2002: Singer R. Kelly performs at the Opening Ceremony of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at the Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
BARTOW, FL - JUNE 6: Florida attorney Diane Buerger (R) argues for bail for R&B singer R. Kelly (L) at the Polk County Courthouse on June 6, 2002 in Bartow, Florida. Judge Karla Wright decided on $750,000 bail and Kelly waived extradition and will be sent back to Illinois. (Photo by George McGinn/Getty Images)
ROSEMOUNT, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: (FILE PHOTO) Singer R. Kelly performs at the Rosemont Horizon on September 25, 1994 in Rosemont, IL. R. Kelly, was arrested on a warrant alleging 12 counts of possession of child pornography on January 22, 2003 in Miami, FL. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
DADE COUNTY, FL - JANUARY 22: Singer R. Kelly is shown in this police handout photo January 22, 2003 at the Dade County Jail, Florida. Kelly was arrested on charges of child pornography after police found pictures of Kelly engaging in a sex act with an underage girl. Kelly is currently facing child pornography charges in Illinois for a separate incident. (Photo by Dade County Jail/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: R. Kelly performs as part of his 2003 Summer tour at the Oakland Arena August 15, 2003 in Oakland, California. R. Kelly is currently touring the U.S. promoting his 'Chocolate Factory' release. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Singer R. Kelly performs on stage at the Vibe Awards: Beats, Style, Flavor at the Santa Monica Civic Center, November 20, 2003 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images) The VIBE Awards air November 21, 2003, on UPN.
LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 21: Singer R. Kelly (R) and guest attend the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls on November 21, 2003 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 10: Singer R. Kelly performs onstage during the 2003 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena December 10, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 14th annual ceremony airs live tonight on FOX 8:00-10:00 PM ET Live/PT. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Singer R. Kelly arrives at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 8: Singer R. Kelly and guest attend the BMG Post-Grammy Party following the 46th Annual Grammy Awards at the Avalon on February 8, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20: Singer R. Kelly performs at the '18th Annual Soul Train Music Awards' at the Scottish Rite Auditorium on March 20, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 29: Singer R. Kelly performs during the 'Best of Both Worlds' tour with Jay-Z on September 29, 2004 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29: Singer R. Kelly performs on the 'Best of Both Worlds' tour with Jay-Z October 29, 2004 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
MIAMI - AUGUST 28: Singer R. Kelly arrives at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards at the American Airlines Arena on August 28, 2005 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - MARCH 04: Singer R. Kelly accepts the Stevie Wonder Award with Stevie Wonder (R) presenting onstage at the 20th Annual Soul Train Music Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 4, 2006 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 15: Singer R. Kelly attends the premiere of Chapters 13-22 of 'Trapped In The Closet' at the IFC Center, August 15, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - OCTOBER 11: Soul singer R. Kelly and rapper Beanie Sigel pose during the making of Sigel's music video for his single, 'All Of The Above' at the Sofitel Hotel in Chicago, Illinois on October 11, 2007. (Photo by Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Singer/songwriter R. Kelly performs at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dr. Billy Ingram/WireImage)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 355 -- Pictured: Musical guest R. Kelly performs on December 6, 2010 (Photo by Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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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.

The filing says "Avenatti has acted as a de facto prosecutor" in the Kelly case" apparently "with the full cooperation" of Foxx. And it says Avanetti has also acted "as an agitator" for Foxx, "saying what she could not."

"Given the allegations against him one must wonder what he has told those he has interacted with in these matters, and what is true and what is not," Greenberg said.

Greenberg said Avenatti's interest in the Kelly case corresponds with his own legal and professional problems, including his falling out with Stormy Daniels, who Avenatti represented in an ultimately failed lawsuit against Donald Trump.

"Obviously, he has been using his accusations against this defendant to divert from his own misconduct," Greenberg argues in the filing. "He drums up problems for others to deflect from his own."

The motion also says Foxx has demonstrated bias against Kelly, including by mentioning her own experience as a victim of abuse before charging Kelly and characterizing the allegations. He said that "creates the appearance of bias and an understandable willingness, desire and propensity to rush to judgment in prosecuting."

The motion also mentions Foxx's recusal in the Smollett case after she spoke to a member of Smollett's family.

"Plainly, this particular State's Attorney is able to be influenced and wowed, as evidenced by the facts of her recusal and the subsequent series of events in the Jussie Smollett case," it says.

Also Monday, Greenberg withdrew his request that Flood allow Kelly to travel to perform at concerts, days after he asked him to hold off on his request for Kelly to be allowed to fly to Dubai for several concerts there.

After the hearing, Greenberg said there was a possibility that Kelly could return to court with another request to travel but that he would leave that to Kelly's entertainment lawyer.

Last month, Dubai's government denied a claim by Kelly that he had planned concerts in the sheikdom and on Monday, Greenberg said that any plans the singer had to travel to that country to perform in the next few weeks are "probably doomed."

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Follow Michael Tarm on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mtarm

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