Steve Greenberg says his client is innocent. He’s supposed to. That’s his job.
But Greenberg has gone much further. Days ago he said his client, R&B singer R. Kelly, is a creative, like Beethoven and John Lennon; he does his best work by night.
After it was announced Friday that the singer, real name Robert Kelly, was being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Nine of the 10 involve victims ranging in age from 13 to 16, it’s alleged. There are four alleged victims, but one of them is the subject of four separate aggravated criminal sexual abuse counts.
Greenberg was largely silent Friday until he tweeted his client would turn himself in.
“R Kelly will be turning himself in between 11-12 tonight at Area South,” is what he said. But at around 9 p.m. Friday, Kelly had already done that.
An hour later, Greenberg said that one of the counts may be part of the 2008 child pornography case the singer was acquitted in. Greenberg said he’s yet to see the videotape that allegedly shows the crooner engaged in a sex act with a young girl, the AP reported.
Here’s what you need to know about Steve Greenberg:
1. Greenberg’s Been Shouting From Rooftops, or at Least Tweeting up a Storm, About His Clients’ Claim of Innocence
In early January, millions were glued to the tube.
“Relax America! Today the CPD visited @rkelly at home and spoke to the two young ladies who live with him, in private. Both told the police they are great-not hostages, not abused, not victims.”
Greenberg was seen and heard after the Lifetime film, Surviving R. Kelly, aired.
“I have just seen the “letter”. It obviously was not authored or signed by Mr. Kelly, nor sent on his behalf.”
The documentary-style movie chronicled abuse allegations against the “Ignition” singer. Greenberg told The Hollywood Reporter the documentary on his client was “another round of stories (that) fill reality TV time.”
Greenberg was ticked off that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said she was felt ill after watching the film. He said it was “inappropriate for a state’s attorney to characterize allegations she’d seen on TV prior to charges or an investigation.”
2. Greenberg Has Been Blasting Prosecutors & Alleged Victims on Twitter & Told Reporters His Client Was ‘Shell-Shcoked’ by Indictment
Greenberg told The Associated Press that R, Kelly was “shell-shocked,” “extraordinarily disappointed and depressed,” but maintains his innocence.
“Yesterday two women accused #Rkelly of having sex with them when they were underaged, and showed a picture of them with someone who was not R. Kelly.”
He said he was not informed by prosecutors that a grand jury was impaneled and called it fake news.
“I am unaware of any ‘special’ grand jury being convened to look into R Kelly. There is no record of any such proceedings and no need for them. The report is false. #RKelly”
Greenberg said he tried to talk with prosecutors “before charges were filed to discuss ‘why these charges are baseless.’ But they refused,” the AP reported.
Greenberg appeared to be claiming that his client was being blamed for things he either never did or could not be responsible for.
“Next thing you know they’re going to blame him for the coming government shut down.”
Read the full Grand Jury of the Circuit Court of Cook County indictment here:
Some of the information contained in the document is graphic and explicit and might be disturbing for some readers.
3. Greenberg Compared R. Kelly to Beethoven & Tolstoy
Greenberg spoke out when an Illinois judge set a curfew for the singer on the use of his Chicago recording studio in January.
As CNN reported, Judge Patrice Ball-Reed said the second floor was being used as a bedroom, already an issue given the building is zoned for commercial, and “posed fire hazards,” so was ordered shut down. She also instituted a curfew for the singer; he could only use the location from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Greenberg posted a press release wherein he compared his client to Beethoven and writers Leo Tolstoy and F. Scott Fitzgerald who he said “worked and wrote during the night” as his client did: “Robert Kelly has been ordered by a judge to not to be creative” at night. Greenberg said Kelly was moving out.
And when tabloid TMZ wrote a story about that move, Greenberg denied he spoke to the gossip and news website.
4. Greenberg Was Drew Peterson’s Lawyer But Was Fired After His Client Was Convicted
Greenberg was one of the lawyers who unsuccessfully defended Drew Peterson, the former Bolingbrook, Illinois, police sergeant who was convicted of murder in the death of his third wife Kathleen Savio.
After Peterson was found guilty, Greenberg was fired. His co-counsel Joel Brodsky said Greenberg was a failure.
Local CBS affiliate quoted Brodsky as saying, Greenberg was fired “for his total and complete failure to complete or do any of the tasks for which he was brought on the team. He absolutely failed to bring important motions to keep out important evidence. One of his jobs was to make objections, and he failed to make almost any objections for the first three to four witnesses that were called; therefore, a failure to preserve important objections for appeal.”
But during the 2012 trial, Greenberg, Brodsky and defense attorney Joe Lopez appeared on the surface to be a good team. It was reported that they “would slam prosecutors’ attempt to convict Peterson using hearsay evidence to try the case.”
5. Greenberg, an Attorney Since 1986, Says He Was Named a ‘SuperLawyer’ & ‘Illinois Leading Lawyer.’ He’s Often Seen in Sunglasses
“We believe in competent, effective, and aggressive counsel for all,” he writes on his website, referring to himself as “we.”
“We are committed to excellence,” he says.
“Consistently named a white collar SuperLawyer™ and an Illinois Leading Lawyer™ Top 10 in criminal defense, whatever your legal needs or questions might be, come to me for advice and effective representation. Protecting your rights, and winning, is what Greenberg Trial Lawyers do best.”
He says he fights as hard as he can for his clients and their families.
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s the only thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Coming in second doesn’t work.”