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Avenatti: ‘Sociopath’ R. Kelly Coughed Throughout Interview to ‘Intimidate’ Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary


The reaction to accused sexual abuser R. Kelly‘s wild interview with CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King continues, this time with a new theory about why Kelly coughed loudly throughout an interview of his girlfriends Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21. They defended Kelly during an interview with CBS This Morning, and claimed their parents are trying to shake down Kelly for money he apparently doesn’t have.

Attorney Michael Avenatti, who is representing two women Kelly allegedly victimized, two parents, and two “whistleblowers” in the matter, appears to have officially endorsed the theory that Kelly was engaging in thinly veiled intimidation.

“See below. It should be obvious to everyone what is going on here,” Avenatti tweeted Thursday afternoon. He was referring to a tweet from Fox32 news anchor Tia A. Ewing. The tweet said that Gayle King said Kelly coughed loudly throughout the Savage and Clary interview. King apparently said that Kelly did this so the girls would know he was there.

“R. Kelly’s intimidation tactics were clear as day and on full display,” Avenatti told Law&Crime.

Clary and Savage’s parents believe that Kelly has brainwashed them into taking part in a sex cult; Savage and Clary denied this, saying their parents are all about the money.

“Well, both our parents, both our parents are basically out here trying to get money and scam, because they didn’t agree on what happened, you know, with music or whatever it could be. And they’re just very upset,” Savage said.

This is an interesting explanation when you consider that Kelly was hauled into custody on Wednesday after failing to pay more than $100,000 in child support. What’s more, Kelly recently struggled to pay 10 percent of the $1 million bail that was set in Chicago. His defense attorney Steve Greenberg explained that mismanagement of money and other issues have sapped Kelly’s wealth.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

He claims that he has “been assassinated.” While Clary was 17 when she met Kelly at one of his shows, she claimed they didn’t have sex when she was a minor. Her parents claimed they had texts to prove otherwise.

In a later tweet, Avenatti called Kelly a “sociopath.”

“What kind of sick, demented man convinces countless young girls that their parents didn’t want them or love them and ‘sold them’ to him, all as part of an effort to sexually abuse and assault them?” he asked. “R Kelly is a sociopath and a despicable excuse for a man.”

Kelly was indicted in 2002 on 21 counts of child pornography after allegedly having sex with a minor on tape. Kelly was acquitted six years later. Avenatti has said he has a new video that is clear and explicit, and even released screenshots from it.

[Image via CBS screengrab]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.