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R. Kelly’s Lawyer Reportedly Believes That Michael Avenatti’s Legal Trouble Will Help Kelly Beat Sex Abuse Case

Attorney Michael Avenatti, who allegedly gave prosecutors an R. Kelly sex tape, was accused this week of trying to extort millions from Nike. 

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

R. Kelly’s lawyer is reportedly hoping that attorney Michael Avenatti’s indictment may prove a boon to Kelly's sex abuse case.

Federal prosecutors in New York and California accused Avenatti this week of trying to extort Nike for millions of dollars, in addition to embezzling more than a million dollars from a client and defrauding a bank in order to secure million-dollar loans. Police took Avenatti into custody on Monday on fraud and extortion charges, and since securing his release on a $300,000 bond, Avenatti has denied the charges and held fast to his claim that he will be exonerated.

However, R. Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg reportedly thinks that Avenatti’s charges will help his client’s case. Avenatti has been representing a number of Kelly’s accusers and has reportedly supplied prosecutors with a tape that he says shows Kelly sexually assaulting an underage girl, but it’s Greenberg’s belief that the charges against Avenatti should call the attorney’s credibility into question, TMZ reports.

In light of the charges against Avenatti, Greenberg believes that “chain of custody” should be examined — specifically, how prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois were able to get the alleged tape from Avenatti, the outlet reports. Greenberg has allegedly suggested that Avenatti may have altered the tape before handing it over to the prosecution.

To potentially further complicate matters, Greenberg reportedly believes that Avenatti got the tape from someone who has allegedly extorted Kelly in the past. TMZ sources allege that the unnamed man admitted to prosecutors that he successfully blackmailed Kelly for nearly $1 million in exchange for keeping the tape under wraps, leading Greenberg to question how the tape managed to end up in Avenatti’s possession, TMZ reports.

Greenberg told the outlet that he is only aware of the existence of one alleged tape involved in his client’s case. However, Avenatti has alleged that he’s given prosecutors two tapes, and another celeb attorney, Gloria Allred, announced earlier this month her alleged discovery of a third tape.

Kelly is currently facing 10 counts of criminal sex abuse, with many viewing the discovery of the first alleged tape as the catalyst for Kelly’s arrest earlier this year, as news that a tape had surfaced came days before Kelly was arrested.

The 52-year-old singer has repeatedly denied the sexual misconduct accusations against him, doing so most recently during an explosive interview that involved yelling, crying, and pleading directly into the camera.

In the weeks since the indictment, Kelly has appeared in court for multiple hearings, and was jailed a second time after failing to pay more than $161,000 in back child support payments. He was released within days, after an anonymous donor paid off his debts.