In an interview with the Associated Press on Friday, Chicago-based attorney Steve Greenberg called the documentary “disgusting” and claimed that producers told “disgruntled” women incriminating things to say about Kelly off camera in an effort to incriminate the Grammy winner.
“Some producer went running around and solicited all these people, did a Jerry Springer-esque show and there is all this uproar,” Greenberg said in the taped interview.
He also claimed that neither he nor Kelly have actually watched the full Lifetime program. “The series is trash TV,” he explained. “There’s no reason to watch the series.”
Surviving R. Kelly — which aired on Lifetime from Thursday, Jan. 3 to Saturday, Jan. 5 — features wide-ranging interviews with Kelly’s family members, former friends and colleagues, but most notably, women who claim that for decades the hit-making singer and producer used his power and influence to sexually and physically abuse them and others.
However, Greenberg insists that these statements are false. “The allegations aren’t true because he never knowingly had sex with an underage woman,” he continued in the AP interview. “He never forced anyone to do anything, he never held anyone captive, he never abused anyone.”
Producers for the program responded to Greenberg’s claims in a statement to PEOPLE, saying: “We are enormously proud of the series. The powerful stories from the women in the documentary speak for themselves. Their honesty and candor has resonated with millions of viewers.”
Greenberg also criticized Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for speaking out on the matter when she held a press conference on Tuesday to encourage any victims to “please come forward.” According to Greenberg, Foxx’s call “invites wrongful accusations.”
Greenberg denied PEOPLE’s request for further comment.
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To date, no charges have been brought in Kelly’s part-time residence of Chicago. But the New York Times reported on Tuesday that investigators from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Georgia contacted Gerald A. Griggs, the lawyer for Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage. The parents claim that the singer is holding their daughter, Joycelyn Savage, against her will. Timothy and Jonjelyn were interviewed in the docuseries, along with numerous other women.
“We hope that it will turn into a fruitful investigation and it will result in the return of Joycelyn Savage to her family or, at the very least, that she start opening continuous conversations and interactions with her family like she had before she met Mr. Robert Sylvester Kelly,” Griggs told PEOPLE on Wednesday.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has declined PEOPLE’s request to comment, as did the Atlanta and John’s Creek police departments.
TMZ also reported that the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has opened an investigation into the allegations made in the docu-series, adding that investigators reached out to Asante McGee, who spoke to PEOPLE about her experience escaping from Kelly’s residence.
However, a representative for McGee has denied to PEOPLE that she has been contacted by authorities.
During her press conference on Tuesday, Foxx stated that her office was talking to two families whose loved ones had been in contact with Kelly.
“I was sickened. I was sickened by the allegations, I was sickened as a survivor, I was sickened as a mother, I’m sickened as a prosecutor,” Foxx said of the docuseries. “I’ve worked in this office for a number of years including in 2008, and so the allegations were not new to me, but I think listening to survivors and giving the platform for survivors to tell their stories was heartbreaking.”
In 2008, a Cook County jury found Kelly not guilty on 14 counts of child pornography charges.
If you or someone you know think they are being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now for anonymous, confidential help, available 24/7.