You have to be a disgusting individual to get on national television and try to save your client’s already trashed reputation by casting aspersions on the legacy of a dead young woman who is no longer able to speak for herself.
Yet, that is exactly what R. Kelly’s attorney Steven Greenberg did during an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America that aired Friday morning.
In an interview with Linsey Davis, Greenberg defended his client against the allegations raised in the Surviving R. Kelly documentary that aired on Lifetime last week.
“We know what happened, and we know those things didn’t happen. The man was not operating a harem or a sex cult or holding people hostage or anything like that,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg said he hopes his client will sue Lifetime for defamation because “people shouldn’t be able to do this to someone.”
Greenberg also said his client denies ever having sexual relationships with anyone under the legal age of consent. When asked about Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah when the singer was just 15 years old, the attorney said that it was true they were married, but he defended his client on that point as well.
“He was married to her when she was 15. Elvis was married to Priscilla,” Greenberg said, referencing Elvis Presley and his bride Priscilla-who was 14 when they met and 21 when they married.
Davis pushed back and said “But so then 15 is not of the age of legal consent.”
“Right,” Greenberg responded. “Except that my understanding is that she did not claim to be 15, and in order to get married, she had to lie about her age.”
“And he is saying that he had no idea?” Davis asked.
“No idea,” Greenberg confirmed.
Perhaps Greenberg is not aware of all the evidence and bread crumbs Kelly left behind that affirm he did in fact know Aaliyah was underaged.
There is of course the title of her first album and it’s eponymous hit single “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” Then there is his 1992 single “She’s Got That Vibe” in which he proclaims “little cute Aaliyah’s got it.”
There was the not so coy interview on BET where they showed up in matching outfits, claimed they were only best friends, and deflected when asked about her age.
And of course, there are the words of those in the documentary who were aware of the age-inappropriate relationship and said so.
Aaliyah’s age was not a secret to anyone when she came out, least of all R. Kelly.
What his attorney is doing right now is disgusting. Smearing the reputation of a girl who can no longer defend herself is not the way to proclaim your client’s innocence. Especially a client who claims he loved her.
But as we see, the cycle of abuse continues, and those in Kelly’s camp continue to be complicit.