R. Kelly’s team banking on industry contacts for legal help


Almost a week ago, it was reported by Page Six, Hotnewhiphop.com, and elsewhere, that R. Kelly’s “friends” were in the process of hiring a new lead attorney for the embattled singer.

The headlines are a little misleading. Digging deeper, it seems that Kelly’s “team” as Complex and other outlets have reported, are allegedly asking fans and the singer’s celebrity friends for donations to hire so-called “superstar” attorney, Tom Mesereau.

Mesereau, as some might remember, is the attorney responsible for defending actor Robert Blake and singer Michael Jackson in 2005. If the fundraising rumors are true, then the idea behind the effort could be that if Mesereau could defend Blake and Jackson, he could possibly help Kelly. There is no word on what is causing a lack of confidence in Kelly’s current lead attorney, Steven Greenberg, and thus fueling the need for new legal representation.

R. Kelly: defenders and detractors

According to TMZ and other outlets, celebrities are coming to the defense of Kelly with their financial support. What is telling is that none of the alleged supporters has been identified yet, and it seems possible that they never will be. Or, at least not in the very near future.

Reports claim that if Kelly or his team, wishes to hire Mesereau, the cost is one million dollars. The price is presumably too steep for Kelly who was bailed out of jail for $100,000 by a stranger, and more than one source points out that Kelly owes at least that much in back child support.

TMZ claims that Mesereau visited Kelly in a Chicago jail a couple of weeks ago, as of this writing. The visit, could be proof that the rumor is more that. No word yet of Greenberg’s firing or continued role in Kelly’s legal team.

What might prove even more interesting than the attorney that Kelly is thinking about choosing is the list of celebrities who refuse to mute him.

Kelly is facing a number of sex-related charges in states from Minnesota to New York.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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