In the wake of last week’s airing of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary, the singer’s lawyer appeared on ABC’s Nightline Thursday to refute multiple allegations of sexual misconduct made by accusers in the series, and to criticize Illinois State Attorney Kim Foxx’s call earlier this week for others to come forward.
“We deal with proof, okay, and where’s the proof?” attorney Steven Greenberg said on “Nightline.”
“None of this is criminal: The state’s attorney is on TV, asking for people to come out of the woodwork and do what? Complain that [Kelly] … mistreated them a little bit here or there? Or that he talked to them improperly?
“He didn’t do anything wrong,” Greenberg continued. “There are no underage victims, there are no sexual-assault victims, there are no victims of domestic violence that they’re going to find. It just didn’t ever happen.”
Later Friday, he elaborated a bit more to the Associated Press, saying that in the past women have “come on to” Kelly in the hopes that he could help them with their careers and then became “disgruntled” when their efforts were not successful and retaliated with false allegations.
He also disparaged the producers of “Surviving R. Kelly,” saying that the documentary was timed to be released after sexual-misconduct allegations that have derailed the careers of successful men, presumably referring to Harvey Weinstein, Les Moonves and others.
“Now, some producer went running around and solicited all these people, did a Jerry Springer-esqe show and there is all this uproar,” he said. “It’s disgusting.”
Kelly’s daughter called her father a “monster” in an Instagram story on Thursday, and past musical collaborators Lady Gaga and Phoenix apologized for working with the singer, both in 2013. Gaga had her collaboration with Kelly, “Do What U Want,” removed from streaming services and iTunes on Thursday.
According to Lifetime, “Surviving R. Kelly” was watched by an average of 2.1 million total viewers, factoring Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings.
The series, which included interviews with #MeToo founder and civil rights activist Tarana Burke, musician John Legend and others, documents the decades of sexual abuse allegations against the R&B artist. It aired across three nights, starting on Thursday, Jan. 3, concluding on Saturday, Jan. 5.