R. Kelly's Attorney Speaks Out Over Docuseries Allegations

Steven Greenberg defended the singer in an ABC News interview

By Elyse Dupre Jan 11, 2019 3:34 PMTags
R. KellyPrince Williams/WireImage

Shortly after Lifetime premiered its new docuseries Surviving R. KellyR. Kelly's attorney spoke to ABC News to address the abuse allegations against the singer.

"We know what happened, and we know those things didn't happen," the attorney, Steven Greenberg, said in a pre-taped interview that aired on Friday's episode of Good Morning America. "The man was not operating a harem, or a sex cult, or holding people hostage or anything like that."

When asked about Kelly's rumored legal action plans, Greenberg said "hopefully he'll sue Lifetime" for defamation.

"People shouldn't be able to do this to someone," he added.

In the documentary series, accusers came forward with allegations of sexual, mental and physical abuse against Kelly. The series also addressed claims of predatory behavior and pedophilia. 

When asked if Kelly denies having a sexual relationship with someone under the age of consent, Greenberg replied, "Yes, he absolutely does."

He also confirmed that Kelly was married to Aaliyah Haughton when she was 15.

"My understanding is that she did not claim to be 15," he said. "And, in order to get married, she had to lie about her age." 

Greenberg alleged Kelly had "no idea" she was under the age of consent.

Stars Who Have Spoken Out Against R. Kelly

In addition, the attorney addressed claims the three-time Grammy winner is holding a woman named Jocelyn Savage "against her will right now."

"No one ever complained about anything until some producer came and found them," Greenberg said.

Even after journalist Linsey Davis argued police reports have been filed claiming Kelly's former and current managers allegedly threatened the Savage family, Greenberg stayed firm.

"So, Mr. Savage—and I hate to diss used car salesmen—but is a used car salesman who first made allegations. And when he first made allegations, he had his younger daughter present a video blasting R. Kelly saying she's going to be a rap star," he said. "He's in this for his own personal gain."

Scott Legato/Getty Images

Near the end of the interview, Greenberg touched on Lady Gaga speaking out about Kelly. The recording artists released their song "Do What U Want" in 2013, in which Gaga sings, "Do what you want, what you want with my body." In a note posted to her social media accounts, the A Star Is Born actress apologized for her "poor judgment" and announced her plans to remove the track from iTunes and other streaming platforms. She also pledged to not work with Kelly again and called the allegations against him "horrifying and indefensible." 

"I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously," she wrote.

Greenberg claimed there were "no problems" when Gaga and Kelly worked together in 2013.

"Now, there were rumors about Mr. Kelly back then," he said. "What has changed between then and now? I'll tell you what's changed between then and now. She says, 'If I don't disclaim my association with him, it might hurt my chance to get an Oscar.' That's exactly what it is."

Gaga isn't the only celebrity to denounce Kelly. John Legend also did so in the docuseries. Kelly's family members have spoken out, as well. His estranged daughter, Buku Abi, recently opened up on social media, where she called him a "monster."

An investigation has reportedly been launched into the allegations made in the docuseries against Kelly. He has consistently denied any allegations of abuse or misconduct.