The professional and legal woes continue to mount for embattled R&B legend R. Kelly.
Nearly four months after a federal jury in Brooklyn found the 55-year-old singer guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking (as we reported here), he’s not only awaiting sentencing for that conviction but is also preparing for the August kick off of another federal case surrounding child pornography charges in his hometown of Chicago.
As his legal defense team braces for that courtroom showdown, CBS reports it’s taken quite the hit as two key members – attorneys Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard – have formally made requests to be removed from the case.
Before Kelly’s New York trial last year, Greenberg and Leonard filed a motion to the court to dismiss themselves as his legal counsel.
“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 at the time.
Those “circumstances” remain a hindrance apparently, as Steve took to press just last week to confirm he has ignited ANOTHER petition to be removed from the ‘Ignition’ singer’s legal team. Federal prosecutors in Chicago charged Kelly with videotaping himself having sex with underage girls, and allegedly attempting to bribe them into not reporting the crime. He’s also said to have used his influence and wealth to intimidate witnesses.
As of time reported, it’s not been confirmed if Leonard and Greenberg’s request has been granted.
Elsewhere, the embattled R&B royal is facing reports his three GRAMMYs may be repossessed.
During a press run, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. shut down rumors that suggested Kelly’s trio of golden gramophones (all won in 1998 for ‘I Believe I Can Fly’) had already been snatched due to his criminal conviction and pending trials. However, Mason didn’t dismiss the possibility it could happen in the future.
“…I think it’s something that is going to take a little bit more consideration before we can really dictate or decide,” he stated. “My initial feeling is we’re probably not a business that we want to be in of taking people’s awards back after they’ve been given. But we’ll take a good look at it and see.”
While the GRAMMY organization has yet to render an official decision on the matter as of time reported, it’s worth noting the only trophy that has ever been revoked in the ceremony’s 63-year history is that of Pop duo Milli Vanilli.
The German-French twosome was stripped of their award in 1990 after admitting to lip-synching the entire “Girl You Know It’s True” album.