Avenatti Says Testimony, New Video From Whistleblowers Led to R. Kelly Arrest

R. Kelly remains in federal custody. Federal prosecutors want him to stay there, arguing he's dangerous and a flight risk.

High-profile attorney Michael Avenatti said testimony from his clients and a newly-discovered sex tape provided much of the evidence against R. Kelly after two new federal indictments were handed down last week.

"We are not talking about one, two, five or even 10 witnesses, ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about dozens of young girls," he said Monday, accusing Kelly's attorney of lying about evidence in the case.

"It's being done in an effort to harm the jury pool, influence the jury pool in this city, and it's disgraceful and it's despicable," he said.

In a statement to NBC Chicago, Greenberg said, "I will be happy to place my ethics and credibility opposite Avenatti’s any day."

Avenatti said he now represents three victims of the R&B star, along with three whistleblowers and three parents of alleged victims.

Speaking at a press conference in Chicago Monday, Avenatti said that at least one of the whistleblowers made copies of the tapes that Avenatti ultimately turned over to Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.

The celebrity lawyer also says that Kelly paid a 14-year-old girl he had sex with and her family $2 million to buy their silence as well as relocate them out of the Chicago area.

Avenatti himself faces mounting legal problems. He was charged in March with trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to go public with claims that the sportwear company was facilitating improper payouts to promising young athletes and their families.

"It doesn't matter what happens to me and my personal legal issues relating to this case- it's going to have absolutely no impact whatsoever," Avenatti said.

Meanwhile, a federal court hearing for Kelly has been pushed back a day and will instead be held Tuesday when the singer was expected to be arraigned.

More charges have been filed against singer R. Kelly, this time at the federal level. NBC 5’s Charlie Wojciechowski has the details. 

Federal judges were supposed to meet Monday in Chicago to figure how to proceed in the case that involves separate indictments out of Chicago and New York. According to a judge's order they'll discuss the details Tuesday afternoon.

Kelly is expected in court. 

The 52-year-old was arrested last week on a 13-count indictment that includes sex crimes and obstruction of justice. A federal indictment was also unsealed in New York that charges him with racketeering and sex-related crimes. 

Kelly remains in federal custody. Federal prosecutors want him to stay there, arguing he's dangerous and a flight risk. 

His attorney denies the allegations.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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