R. Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg told CNN, “We are unaware of any new information involving Mr. Kelly.... We have not been contacted by anyone. We have not been informed about any new information by anyone and we have not been contacted by law enforcement.” In addition, when contacted by Pitchfork, Tandra R. Simonton (Chief Communications Officer at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago) said, “We cannot confirm or deny an investigation.”
The lawyer Michael J. Avenatti tweeted in January, “Since April, I have been working on the R. Kelly matter. The results of that work will soon be known. We are going to blow this wide open for the sake of each of his victims and one less pedophile will be free. Count on it.” According to CNN, Avenatti is representing “a whistleblower against Kelly.”
Today (February 14), the lawyer released a statement on Twitter, writing, “Included in the evidence we recently uncovered and recovered is a VHS videotape of Mr. Kelly engaging in multiple sexual assaults of a girl underage. This tape, which is clear, is approximately 45 minutes in length and has never previously been publicly disclosed or, until recently, provided to law enforcement.” Avenatti also wrote that he “provided extensive information, including the videotape” to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
When contacted by Pitchfork, Avenatti said, “As a father to two teenage girls, this work has been especially satisfying. I am confident justice is about to be done.” In addition, he told CNN, “My client knows the identity of the girl and R. Kelly. He identified the two of them on the videotape. He worked for and has known R. Kelly for decades and he met the girl on a number of occasions.”
Pitchfork has contacted R. Kelly’s representatives and Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg.
R. Kelly continues to face allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct, most recently outlined in the Lifetime series “Surviving R. Kelly.” Kelly has continually denied the allegations.
In 2002, Jim DeRogatis (then with the Chicago Sun-Times) anonymously received a video tape that allegedly showed R. Kelly ... with an underage girl. DeRogatis turned the tape over to the police, and later that year, Kelly was charged with making child pornography. When called to trial, DeRogatis pled the Fifth Amendment. In 2008, Kelly was acquitted on all charges.
In 2017, Jim DeRogatis broke a story for BuzzFeed News in which several women claimed that R. Kelly had manipulated their lives in a “cult.”
Two sources told CNN of the development, but the Cook County State's Attorney has not confirmed a new investigation.
Lawyer Michael Avenatti tweeted Saturday that a recording that wasn't previously released "allegedly shows further acts of sexual abuse of an underage girl by R Kelly."
"This would be a third and distinctive other tape," Avenatti told the Daily News. "I'm highly confident that there is a third tape and I'm hopeful that we're going to be able to recover it and turn it over to law enforcement."
The attorney famous for representing porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have slept with President Trump just four months after his wife gave birth to their son, told the Daily News Thursday that he gave a tape featuring R. Kelly engaging in sex acts with a minor to the Cook County State's Attorney's office earlier this month.
"I believe that as the result of the tape that we turned over to prosecutors that we can expect an indictment of R. Kelly ... shortly," Avenatti told The News.
On Monday, R. Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg told CNN that he wasn't aware of a grand jury.
"No one from law enforcement has contacted me or my client regarding any potential investigation," Greenberg said. "Certainly they are aware that I am representing him so if there were any reason to speak to him I would suspect they would have reached out to me."
"Grand jury proceedings are, by law, supposed to be secret, so to the extent people are commenting on what may or may not be going on today are possibly violating the law. Still, I can tell you that I am unaware of any proceedings," Greenberg added.
Kelly, 52, has denied the many accusations of sexual abuse against him over the years. In 2008, he was acquitted of all charges after being indicted on 13 counts of child pornography.
Last month, a new Lifetime docu-series that featured several women who were allegedly abused by the R&B singer brought the scandal back into focus.
R. Kelly charged with criminal sexual abuse; no-bond warrant set by judge
The singer has long faced allegations of sexual abuse by women and girls, but a new videotape has surfaced that was apparently enough evidence to charge him
By TheGrio -
February 22, 2019 Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images R. Kelly, the embattled R&B singer who has been dogged by allegations of sexually abusing underaged girls for years has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of minors, according to documents provided to TheGrio Friday afternoon.
Nine of the ten counts against Kelly, 52, involve alleged victims who at least age 13 but no older than 17 years old the 36-pages indictment says. In the indictment there are four alleged victims. One is linked to three different counts. The incidents occurred in separate occasions between 1998 and 2010. In the State of Illinois, the statute of limitations on sexual abuse against minors can extend as long as 20 years.
At a brief press conference Friday afternoon, Cook County, Ill., States Attorney Kim Foxx said that Kelly is expected to appear at a bond hearing Saturday afternoon. If convicted he could be facing 3-7 years per count.
He will be taken into custody under a no-bond warrant, according to the Associated Press.
The charges came down Friday morning, about a week after attorney a grand jury convened to investigate the possibility that Kelly had committed the numerous sex crimes that were described in an alleged sex tape provided by attorney Michael Avenatti. READ MORE: Veteran journalist Ed Gordon revisits his 2002 interview with R. Kelly and explains why he believes we must stop supporting the music According to reports, as many as a dozen accusers came forward with the accusations against the singer.
Avenatti claimed the new tape has never been previously disclosed or been seen by law enforcement until now. He also maintains that the timeframe of the sexual assault depicted in the video falls within the Illinois statute of limitations. The tape has reportedly been turned over to Foxx in Chicago.
In addition, Avenatti says he has evidence Kelly and his “enablers” paid witnesses and others to “rig” the outcome of the R&B star’s 2008 trial, when he was acquitted on child pornography charges, according to the Associated Press.
Kelly’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, said early Friday afternoon that he had not been notified that his client had been charged. Avenatti’s tape allegedly shows Kelly having sex with a 14 year old girl with the two referring to body parts as that age, according to TMZ. The attorney, in a statement said that his office had been retained by several people in connection with the allegations against Kelly. The tape, he said, his office uncovered is a VHS tape of about 45 minutes in length and is not the same footage used in other criminal allegations against him.
Kelly was acquitted in 2008 after similar charges.
The charges come a day after two new women came forward accusing Kelly sexual misconduct. Telling their stories publicly for the first time, Latresa Scaff, 40 and Rochelle Washington, 39 met with law enforcement to tell their stories of alleged sexual abuse from over 20 years ago.
The women say they were 16 and 15 years old (respectively) at the time.
Introduced by their attorney, Gloria Allred, who called Kelly a “sexual predator,” Scaff spoke first, reading from a prepared statement, and told in great detail the story of how she and friend, Washington, met Kelly after a concert in 1995.
In her story, Scaff says that security hand picked them from the crowd at the Baltimore Arena and asked them to come on stage. The two, who are from Baltimore, say they were invited to an after party with Kelly and then to his hotel suite. When they arrived at the hotel, a producer or manager paid for their taxi and they both went to the hotel suite thinking there would be another party.
When in the hotel suite, Scaff says that she and Washington called a local radio station in excitement that they would be meeting Kelly momentarily. Soon after, according to her statement, Staff said someone one Kelly’s staff came in and asked she and Washington to take off their dresses where Kelly entered wearing a white shirt and jeans and having his penis exposed outside of his pants.
She says she was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol at the time. In her statement, Scaff recounts that Kelly wanted the two women to engage in sex with him on the bed, but that Washington refused and retreated into the bathroom. While Washington was out the room, Scaff says she then performed oral sex on Kelly. Scaff said she did not have the capacity to consent when Kelly had sex with her and that he left the room soon after. She says neither she nor Washington have seen or heard from him since.
“I’m coming forward now because I felt this is the right thing to do,” said Scaff. “Im speaking out because I want to encourage other victims who I know must be other there to come forward as well.”
But Greenberg said his client "really doesn't have any money at this point" due to "mismanagement," "hangers-on" and "bad deals." He added Kelly would ultimately be able to come up with the required $100,000.
"He's trying to get it together," Greenberg said. "He doesn't have it sitting in the bank."
Illinois does not have bail bondsmen, Greenberg pointed out. Singer owes thousands in unpaid child support
But Kelly's money problems don't stop with his bail.
According to court documents reviewed by CNN, Kelly owed more than $169,000 in unpaid child support to his ex-wife as of February 6.
The court ordered Kelly to make a monthly payment of $20,833 on January 8, 2009, but Kelly failed to show up to that hearing, per court documents.
To avoid being held in contempt of court, a judge ordered he pay $161,663 by March 6.
Greenberg told CNN his client "does not have to pay the child support before getting out."
"The state is trying to make him do that, or they were," Greenberg said, "but the judge said no." Singer also faced eviction from his studio
Kelly also risked eviction at his Chicago studio last month because he owes more than $166,000 in unpaid rent.
Court documents show a judge signed an eviction order in January. The documents show Robert Kelly needed to move out on or before January 21, but Kelly was still at the studio minutes before he turned himself in to police on Friday night.
The eviction process began in July 2018 when the landlord, Midwest Commercial Funding LLC, said Kelly defaulted on the lease by initially failing to pay more than $79,000 in rent. The back rent continued to pile up, and the judge finally signed off on an eviction.
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According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which reviewed court documents in Fulton County, Georgia, Kelly also owes a Georgia property management company more than $31,000 in past due rent payments for two homes in suburban Atlanta. Prosecutor: Alleged victim has shirt with Kelly's DNA
Under the terms of his bond, Kelly must surrender his passport and is forbidden from having contact with anyone under the age of 18.
During Saturday's hearing, prosecutors detailed the crimes Kelly is accused of committing, which allegedly took place between 1998 and 2010.
Among the revelations, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said one of the alleged victims provided authorities with a shirt she wore during an alleged encounter with the singer, which later tested positive for his DNA. Prosecutors also alleged that Kelly spit on two of his victims.
Kelly turned himself Friday night, hours after Chicago police issued a warrant for his arrest. He's due back in court on Monday.
Greenberg has maintained his client's innocence, saying Saturday that at this time Kelly is "presumed innocent." On Friday, he said he thinks "all the women are lying."
CNN's Sara Sidner reported from Chicago
Chicago while Dakin Andone reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Traci Tamura contributed to this report.
More than an hour after Kelly entered the closed hearing, he Kelly walked out accompanied by Cook County sheriff's deputies. "He's in our custody," said Sophia Ansari, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.
She said the arrest was ordered by Judge Lori Rosen, who warned last month that Kelly faced jail time unless he paid more than $161,000 in child support and interest. The order comes less than two weeks after Kelly walked free pending trial on criminal sexual abuse charges.
Records connected to Kelly’s divorce case have been kept secret and out of public view. But paperwork on the back child support was made public in Kelly’s criminal court file. Kelly and his ex-wife have three children together.
Kelly, 52, was indicted last month on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Cook County prosecutors allege he abused four victims, three of them underage girls, over a span of 12 years. Kelly and his attorney have vehemently denied the accusations.
Bond was set at $1 million on the criminal charges, but Kelly was unable to post the necessary $100,000 until after he spent a weekend in custody. Court records indicate a 47-year-old Romeoville woman posted his bail, identifying herself on the bond slip as Kelly’s “friend.”
Accusations of predatory sexual behavior have dogged the singer for years. Cook County prosecutors charged him in 2002 with child pornography, saying he made a sex tape with his teenage goddaughter, but a jury acquitted him in a sensational trial in 2008.
In the latest charges, prosecutors allege Kelly tried to force oral sex on his 24-year-old hairdresser in 2003 — while he was free on bond on the then-pending child pornography charges.
Prosecutors also alleged that Kelly solicited an underage girl outside his 2008 criminal trial and later sexually abused her; that he carried on a yearlong sexual relationship with a girl he had met in 1998 when she was celebrating her 16th birthday; and that he videotaped himself having sex with a young girl at his home in Olympia Fields in the late 1990s.