Illinois prosecutors are moving to indict singer R. Kelly after a newly obtained video showed him sexually assaulting an underage girl, The New Yorker reports.
Three sources confirmed to the outlet attorney Michael Avenatti’s claim that the video shows the singer sexually assaulting a minor.
Kelly was indicted in Illinois in 2002 on 21 counts of child pornography after a 26-minute video appeared to show him sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. He was acquitted in 2008 after the girl and her parents declined to testify.
Two weeks ago, Avenatti, who rose to prominence as the lawyer for Trump accuser Stormy Daniels, wrote on Twitter that he was working on a case involving R. Kelly.
Avenatti wrote on Thursday that he is representing “multiple clients in connection with allegations of sexual assault of minors” by Kelly.
Avenatti said he had turned over a video showing “Kelly engaging in multiple sexual assaults of a girl underage,” to Cook County state attorney Kim Foxx.
Avenatti wrote that “the time frame of sexual assaults depicted in the video is within the Illinois statute of limitations.”
R. Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg has not commented on the allegations but last month told The Associated Press that the singer “never knowingly had sex with an underage woman.”
The New Yorker reported that a top law enforcement official said that “an indictment is pending and Kelly could be arrested soon.”
There have been rumors of tapes before:
The New Yorker reported that Kelly was accused of hiring a man to track down any video tapes of him that might be “on the streets” in 2002.
During his trial in 2008, a witness named Lisa Van Allen testified that she had a sexual relationship with the singer when she was 17 and had engaged in encounters with Kelly and the girl in the video.
“She further testified that, in 2006, she removed a video of a sexual encounter with Kelly from a duffel bag that he had left on the sidelines of a basketball court at a high-end Chicago gym while he was shooting hoops,” The New Yorker’s Jim DeRogatis reported. “According to Van Allen, the bag was full of such tapes. ‘He carried it everywhere with him. Wherever he was at, the bag would follow,’ she said. In an interview on Wednesday, she told me, ‘I just didn’t want that tape out there.’”
Allegations against R. Kelly continue to mount:
Kelly has come under fire again since the airing of the Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly.”
“Kelly, now fifty-two, has settled four lawsuits brought by women who have been named in public documents,” The New Yorker reported. “He married his protégée Aaliyah, who was then fifteen years old, in 1994; the illegal marriage was annulled by her parents, six months later. At the same time, Kelly and Aaliyah signed a settlement agreement prohibiting either of them from speaking about the marriage in public. More recently, Kelly was accused of keeping ‘a cult’ of women against their will, and physically and mentally abusing them.”