New R. Kelly Sex Video Turned Over to Authorities, Lawyer Says | Modern Society of USA

New R. Kelly Sex Video Turned Over to Authorities, Lawyer Says

New R. Kelly Sex Video Turned Over to Authorities, Lawyer Says

The celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti said on Thursday that he had given the authorities a videotape that, according to a report, appears to show the musician R. Kelly having sex with a girl who may have been underage.

Once a dominant R&B singer and hitmaker, Kelly, 52, has been trailed by allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse for years, but he has never been convicted of a crime. In 2008, he was acquitted of child pornography charges pertaining to a videotape that, prosecutors alleged, showed Kelly having sex with an underage girl.

Avenatti said in an interview and on Twitter that the tape, made in the late 1990s, was not the same tape in the 2008 trial. He said he had turned it over to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago, which has been looking into Kelly’s conduct but declined to answer questions about the tape on Thursday.

Law enforcement officials in Illinois and Georgia, where Kelly has had homes, began looking into his behavior after the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” aired on Lifetime last month. The program detailed accusations that Kelly had sex with minors and kept young women in what has been described as a sex cult, preventing them from communicating with their families and exerting control over their lives, including whom they could look in the eye and when they could use the bathroom.

Two weeks after the documentary aired, Kelly was dropped by his label, RCA Records, following intense pressure from activists in the #MuteRKelly campaign.

In a strongly worded statement on Thursday, Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, questioned the credibility of Avenatti and CNN’s description of the video and said Kelly “denies that he has engaged in any illegal conduct, of any kind whatsoever.” He also portrayed the women who have spoken out against Kelly as being out for money: “Accuse R. Kelly and boom, make a buck.”

Building a criminal case against Kelly could be challenging, for similar reasons that bedeviled prosecutors in 2008. That case involved a 27-minute sex tape that bore some disquieting similarities to the tape described by Avenatti and CNN on Thursday. The previous video showed what prosecutors described as Kelly having sex with and urinating on an underage girl.

That girl never testified, and Kelly’s lawyers argued that her identity could not be proven.

Avenatti declined to say how he had obtained the new video. On Twitter he said he was representing “multiple clients,” but in the interview he did not say whether he was representing the girl in the video, nor whether she was cooperating, a fact that could be as pivotal as it was in 2008.

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