AP Photo/Nick Ut
AP Photo/Nick Ut
After pleading not guilty to an ecstasy possesion charge in October, CeeLo Green was back in a Los Angeles courtroom on Wednesday, Nov. 20, to set a date for a preliminary hearing.
The Voice mentor's attorney, Blair Berk, vigorously argued that cameras should not be permitted in the courtroom filming Green (real name Thomas DeCarlo Callaway). Judge Shelly Torrealba denied this request. Before the preliminary hearing setting even began, Berk argued her "opposition to filming" and said she objected because the camera's showed the singer's face from a side that the public was not granted.
"Press should not have a greater access given a television like view," Berk argued in the courtroom. She added that she believed it would "jeopardize" Green's right to a "fair hearing" and opposed the camera taking closeups of her client.
The mood in the courtroom was very heated as John McKinney and Stacie Gravely, representing the state, opposed shutting out the media and stated they "strongly support transparency in the criminal justice system." The duo added that the public relies on the media to get information on what is happening inside the courtroom.
Not only did the judge deny the defense's request, she said it was up to the media how close they wanted to film the defendant. This did not sit well with Green's team, and Berk then argued that if she and her client were being filmed, the judge should also be filmed. The back and forth continued, but the judge denied this request saying she will continue to stay off camera for safety concerns.
Green arrived at court with Berk in a black SUV and was wearing a black hoodie, black pants and sunglasses. He was accompanied by his girlfriend and held hands with her as they made their way inside. When asked by E! News if he thought what was happening in the court was fair, he replied, "We're just looking forward to taking care of this in court." He also added that he is confident that he will beat the charges.
The musician allegedly slipped ecstasy to a 33-year-old female while the two were dining at a downtown Los Angeles restaurant sometime between July 13 and July 14, 2012. The two later went back to the woman's hotel.
The next preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 16. Green was ordered to appear in person at the next hearing and is still out on $30,000 bail.
—Additional reporting by James Sullivan