R. Kelly lawyer feud gets personal: ‘He has a Ferrari and I have a Maserati’ – Chicago Sun-Times

These tweets ain’t so sweet!

Last May, Chicago attorney Steve Greenberg tweeted out a “love” note to attorney Michael Avenatti, who has a penchant for grabbing national headlines.

“We should find a case to try together. I love watching you work. @MichaelAvenatti.”

Well, that was then.

RELATED: Read our coverage of the R. Kelly investigation

It’s war now.

Since then, Greenberg and Avenatti have become internet enemies, sparring and spewing in the Twittersphere like two proverbial cats from Kilkenny. Avenatti says Greenberg is “embarassing.” Greenberg calls Avenatti a “coward.”

The war of words was ignited when Avenatti went on the warpath to lock up R. Kelly, who is represented by Greenberg. Kelly was charged last week with sexually abusing four people dating back to 1998, including three underage girls.

Avenatti has provided the Cook County State Attorney’s Office with documents and sex tapes allegedly showing R. Kelly having sex with a minor and says he represents one of the people mentioned in the criminal charges.

So what started the spar war?

On Feb. 14, Avenatti tweeted a statement confirming he had turned over the video to law enforcement and said it allegedly showed the singer having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

That day, Greenberg sent a tweet giving “credit to Avenatti for moving his alleged fraud from the focus to my client.” That was in apparent reference to reports that Avenatti had given up control of his California law firm after a former partner alleged he used its assets to finance an over-the-top lifestyle.

In response to Greenberg’s tweet, Avenatti replied: “Credit to you for managing to gain an acquittal for a child molester and put him back on the street so that he could continue engaging in sexual assault of underage girls.”

Greenberg, however, was not R. Kelly’s attorney during the trial in which the singer was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.

The next day Avenatti referred to Greenberg as “a hack criminal attorney.”

Then, as Greenberg told Sneed in an interview this week: “He blocked me on Twitter.”

Greenberg said up until that point, he thought Avenatti, who rose to prominence as the attorney for Stormy Daniels, the porn star who had an affair with Donald Trump, ran a decent legal practice.

“My understanding was he was a fine lawyer, but he should get back in his lane,” Greenberg said. “He should be professional. Some of what he says might be right, some wrong. But why insult me in this form of pitchfork justice?”

Greenberg took offense at Avenatti’s criticism of his legal skills. “He doesn’t know anything about me. What an a–hole. He’s grandstanding. I’m not going to debate him about my legal abilities!” he told Sneed.

On Twitter, though, Greenberg posted details of his track record in court and told Avenatti he had won more criminal cases than “you have … in your entire life.” He ended that tweet: “Have a nice flight back to wherever you came from. Bye.”

Greenberg has told the press Avenatti should be “criminally investigated” for the way he handled the child pornography tapes allegedly involving R. Kelly, after some of the tapes ended up in the hands of a CNN reporter.

Avenatti, who is also never at a loss for words, told Sneed he didn’t remember the tweet valentine Greenberg had posted last May 9. He blamed Greenberg for the feud.

“I started cooperating with investigators and turning over information to the state attorney’s office when he [Greenberg] started attacking me for no reason,” said Avenatti.

“He holds a press conference after his client’s arrest and talks about me personally.

“He’s also gone after me on social media,” Avenatti said.

“I’ve never worked with Steve. And I don’t work with people who purposely misstate the law and the facts. Everything he said about me is false.”

Why does Avenatti think he is being attacked? “I believe he will do anything to distract away from the abhorrent conduct of his client,” he said.

Greenberg, no shrinking violet, has told the media: “I think all the women are lying.”

“Unfortunately the state’s attorney has now succumbed to public pressure, to pressure from grandstanders like Michael Avenatti and [attorney] Gloria Allred, and brought these charges. Mr. Kelly is strong. He’s got a lot of support, and he’s going to be vindicated on all these charges, one by one if it has to be.”

Avenatti says Greenberg is the one who is unprofessional.

“Nothing says ‘I’m a professional and not grandstanding’ like taking selfies with the press moments before the bail hearing for your client, who is facing life in prison. #ClownShow,” Avenatti tweeted after Greenberg was seen taking cellphone pictures the day R. Kelly was charged.

Greenberg has another theory about why the two clashed: “He has a Ferrari and I have a Maserati. Maybe that’s why I am not up to his standards!”

On and on it goes.

Only this type of Twitter-styled American justice is not just stirred the pot, it’s sadly shaking it.

Sneedlings . . .

Saturday birthdays: Rebel Wilson, 39; Jon Bon Jovi, 57; and Ben Roethlisberger, 37. . . . Sunday birthdays: Camila Cabello, 22; Buddy Valastro, 42; Jessica Biel, 37, a belated birthday wish to PJ O’Dea, 93 and Ted Tetzlaff, priceless.

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Facebook and Instagram launch their first lawsuit over fake accounts and likes from Chinese companies, following legal concerns (FB)

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

  • Facebook announced Friday that the company, along with Instagram, have filed a federal lawsuit over the sale of fake accounts, likes, and followers.
  • Facebook is suing four companies and three people based in China who have sold and promoted fake accounts, likes, and followers on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Apple, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
  • “By filing the lawsuit, we hope to reinforce that this kind of fraudulent activity is not tolerated – and that we’ll act forcefully to protect the integrity of our platform,” Paul Grewal, vice president and deputy general counsel at Facebook wrote in a blog post.

On Friday, Facebook and Instagram filed a lawsuit in the U.S. federal court over fake accounts on its platforms.

Facebook and Instagram have sued four companies and three people based in China who promoted the sale of these fake accounts, likes, and followers.

In addition to Facebook and Instagram, these companies sold fake accounts on Amazon, Apple, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter, Facebook said. Business Insider has reached out to these companies for comment.

This lawsuit will ask the court to prevent these companies and people from creating and promoting the sale of fake accounts, likes, and followers on Facebook and Instagram. In addition, it will ask the court to stop them from illegally using their trademarks on their websites and from using Facebook-branded domain names to run their websites.

“By filing the lawsuit, we hope to reinforce that this kind of fraudulent activity is not tolerated — and that we’ll act forcefully to protect the integrity of our platform,” Paul Grewal, vice president and deputy general counsel at Facebook wrote in a blog post.

After backlash over the prevalence of fake news and accounts on Facebook and Instagram, Facebook has made moves in removing fake accounts within the U.S. and other countries. Over 600,000 Americans followed fake Instagram and Facebook accounts that were suspected to be linked to Russia. These were detected and removed just days before the 2018 midterms. 

Read more: Over 600,000 Americans followed fake Russia-linked Instagram accounts that were detected days before the midterms

In December, Facebook shut down fake news sites that spread false information about the Bangladesh opposition before the country’s elections.

Ahead of India’s elections, Facebook announced it would set up an “online search ad library” and require advertisers to disclose their identity and location for verification.

In January, Facebook announced it took down hundreds of accounts linked to Iran and Russia that spread false information. And just last month, Facebook removed pages and accounts that engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” targeting people in Moldova, ahead of the country’s elections.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has also seen its share of fake accounts. In November, Instagram announced it would crack down on accounts that use third-party apps to boost its popularity with fake likes and follows.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has also been cracking down on companies that sell fake followers and likes on social media, such as the now-defunct Devumi LLC and other companies owned by German Calas. This was the U.S.’s first settlement that regards these sales as illegally deceptive, Reuters reported.

“Inauthentic activity has no place on our platform. That’s why we devote significant resources to detecting and stopping this behavior, including disabling millions of fake accounts every day. Today’s lawsuit is one more step in our ongoing efforts to protect people on Facebook and Instagram,” Grewal wrote.

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