The attorney for singer R. Kelly is asking for all communications between Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and high-profile attorney Michael Avenatti.
Avenatti thrust himself into the middle of the Kelly investigation in February when he announced he had turned over video of Kelly allegedly sexually abusing an underage girl to Cook County prosecutors.
Avenatti was recently charged by federal prosecutors in New York for allegedly trying to extort Nike.
Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg said the Cook County state’s attorney “got into bed with Avenatti, and Avenatti is toxic.”
Kelly is charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse of four women, three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged abuse.
In a motion, Greenberg asked for all electronic communications between prosecutors, witnesses and their attorneys.
Greenberg argued that there is evidence that Foxx communicated with Avenatti before filing charges, and that Avenatti bullied Foxx into bringing charges against Kelly.
Foxx’s office did not immediately respond to that allegation but in court Monday, Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Gonzalez told the judge that their office preserves electronic communication in all cases, but that they had no power to tell witnesses and police officers to hold on to their own electronic communications.
She also said Greenberg’s motion was filled with multiple paragraphs and allegations that had nothing to do with the Kelly case.
In the motion, Greenberg pointed to the recent scandal involving actor Jussie Smollett as proof that Foxx can be persuaded by other attorneys.
Smollett was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police about being the victim of a hate crime, but his charges were suddenly dropped last week under mysterious circumstances.
Foxx had already handed the Smollett case off to her deputy because she had attempted to intervene on Smollett’s behalf during the police investigation when Smollett was thought to be a victim.
She said her office dropped the case because Smollett did community service and gave up his $10,000 bond, and the felony charges Smollett was facing do not typically result in prison time.
At a court hearing Monday, Greenberg implied that Foxx or Foxx’s office had referred victims to Avenatti for legal representation.
Avenatti rose to prominence representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in a hush money case against President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, at Monday’s court hearing, Greenberg withdrew his motion asking the judge to allow Kelly to travel to Dubai.
Kelly had asked the judge for permission to travel to perform in concerts and meet the royal family, however he was not able to show the judge a contract for those planned performances.
“I understand that the chance of him being allowed to go are pretty slim,” Greenberg told the judge before withdrawing the motion.
Gonzalez told the judge she was concerned that Kelly and Greenberg had lied in their motion, falsely claiming they had contracts to perform in Dubai.
“What was represented to the court was simply not true,” Gonzalez told the judge.
Kelly was not in court Monday because of an illness, according to Greenberg.
Judge Lawrence Flood told Greenberg that Kelly needs to be at all future court appearances.
Patrick Smith is a reporter on WBEZ’s Criminal Justice desk. Follow him @pksmid.