R. Kelly's new legal team is asking a judge to postpone his August 9 sex trafficking trial in New York City.
According to the Associated Press, attorneys for the disgraced singer said a 14-day quarantine period at his jail left them without enough time to prepare for his upcoming trial.
In a letter to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, lawyer Deveraux Cannick wrote that Kelly's quarantine had exacerbated an already “herculean effort” to get ready for the trial following their June 21 hiring.
He argued that he and Kelly's remaining legal team have not been able to meet the 54-year-old singer in-person since he was transferred to Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center from Chicago on June 22
“Robert is anxious to have his day in court; however not at the expense of his Sixth Amendment rights,” the attorney wrote in the letter.
Judge Donnelly has yet to rule on the filing.
The filing comes one month after Attorneys Mike Leonardo and Steven Greenberg — who had worked with the disgraced singer for years — filed documents asking a New York judge to allow them to withdraw from Kelly's federal case.
“While we recognize that this request comes close to trial – and we are ready to proceed to trial as scheduled in August – our reasons for withdrawal are significant and it is impossible, in our belief, for us to be able to continue to properly represent Mr. Kelly under the current circumstances,” Attorney Greenberg told Judge Donnelly in a letter obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, per TheIndependent.
He added in a statement, “Ultimately, as trial lawyers and in the interests of the client, we weren’t comfortable professionally with allowing lawyers who have never tried federal criminal cases to have significant trial responsibilities.”
Greenberg and Leonardo additionally told TMZ, "We refused to try a case with lawyers who don’t have the appropriate level of experience and skill because that is not in the client's best interest. It is a shame that lawyers can’t suppress their own egos or self interest and do or act in the client's best interest."
Kelly's remaining attorneys Thomas A. Farinella and Nicole Blank Becker also spoke with the outlet. However, they told a different story, claiming, "Mr. Kelly terminated both lawyers [Greenberg and Leonardo] prior to filing their motion."
TMZ noted that the judge would have to sign off before Greenberg and Leonard could be fired, which hasn't happened yet.
In February, it was announced that Kelly's New York trial on charges of racketeering and sex trafficking had been postponed again.
A judge decided to push the trial, which was set for April, back by four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Page Six reported earlier this year.
Kelly was hit with a total of 18 counts of sexual misconduct and other charges in Chicago and New York at the beginning of 2020.