While the situation has left several question in its wake, especially regarding an internal police investigation over leaked intel, R. Kelly's lawyer has expressed concern on how his client could be impacted as a result of the high-profile case.
Speaking with TMZ on Monday (April 1), Kelly's lawyer Steve Greenberg explained his worry that because of Smollett's dismissal, Chicago prosecutors could be harsher on the R&B singer. He claims Kim Foxx, the State's Attorney for Cook County, could be seeking an opportunity for her office to "redeem themselves."
"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 stated.
Two groups of protestors gathered outside the county building Monday morning. The two groups represented opposing stances regarding the decision to drop the 16 felony charges Smollett initially was facing. Those who oppose the decision are calling for Foxx to lose her position based on how her office handled the case. She previously recused herself, citing having communicated with a concerned family member weeks prior to the actor being arrested.
Meanwhile, Chicago native R. Kelly is currently facing 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and has pleaded not guilty to the outstanding charges. He recently began seeking permission to leave the country despite forfeiting his passport as a condition of his bond. As previously reported, Kelly was looking to play a series of shows in Dubai. The government issued a rare statement that there were no plans to host the singer for any reason whatsoever.
During the hearing on Monday, Greenberg also requested to see all communication between Foxx and Michael Avenatti. He raised concern that Avenatti, who has been indicted on extortion charges, may have "bullied or just simply manipulated" Foxx. Avenatti previously came forward with two sex tapes he claims depict the singer having sex with a 14-year-old and submitted them to Cook County investigators.
Avenatti responded to Greenberg's comments, "[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."
R. Kelly, who continues to deny all allegations, was not at the hearing on Monday, citing an illness.