Associated Press/Amr Alfiky
- The singer R. Kelly and financier Jeffrey Epstein have drawn comparisons in recent weeks due to new attention from federal prosecutors on allegations that they abused underage girls.
- But Kelly's lawyer, Steve Greenberg, appeared indignant at the comparisons, and noted that Epstein's case appears "far more expansive."
- He added that allegations against Kelly date back decades, and Epstein's merely date back to the early 2000s.
- Kelly appeared in a Brooklyn courtroom Friday morning and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of running an enterprise to sexually exploit women and minors.
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A lawyer representing R. Kelly shunned recent comparisons between his client and the financier Jeffrey Epstein, both of whom face allegations that they preyed upon underage girls.
Both men were wealthy and powerful during the periods in which they were accused of exploiting minors, both are accused of relying on elaborate networks of enablers and accomplices to recruit and sexually abuse girls, both have faced similar allegations for years, and both have recently come under the scrutiny of federal prosecutors across the country, who have renewed efforts to investigate victims' allegations.
Even Lifetime, the network that produced the docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly," is reportedly planning a similar exposé on the businessman, to be titled "Surviving Jeffrey Epstein."
Both men are also currently in jails in New York City. Kelly arrived Thursday night ahead of a Friday court appearance, in which he pleaded not guilty to five federal charges. Greenberg said he might be transferred back to a Chicago jail soon.
But Kelly's lawyer, Steve Greenberg, told INSIDER he didn't consider the cases similar at all, and suggested that the allegations against Kelly were less credible because many of them are decades-old.
"These allegations in the Northern District of Illinois of having sex with minors date back two decades. The allegations here involving minors date back two decades. The allegations involving Jeffrey Epstein date back to the recent past, if that," Greenberg said. "So I think there's a big difference between the two cases."
Greenberg added that he didn't know much about the Epstein case, though he had read the judge's bond order, which denied Epstein's request to await trial under home detention.
"I think there's a fundamental difference between that case," Greenberg said. "You know, they searched R. Kelly's apartment when they arrested him — they didn't find anything."
In Epstein's case, investigators who searched his Manhattan mansion found a trove of nude photos, including at least one of an underage girl, according to a bail memo.
"I think the allegations against him are far more expansive than the allegations against R. Kelly," Greenberg said.
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- A lawyer for R. Kelly called his alleged victims 'disgruntled groupies' in a court filing
- R. Kelly held in jail without bond, after prosecutor argues he poses 'danger' to young girls if set free
- R. Kelly's accuser talked publicly about the alleged sexual abuse for the first time, saying 'I'm not ashamed of my past anymore'
- R. Kelly's lawyers said his ex-wife should be jailed for publicly accusing him of abuse