Prosecutors in Illinois are preparing an indictment against R. Kelly in response to a newly uncovered videotape showing the singer having sex with an apparently underage girl, Jim DeRogatis reports today for the New Yorker. DeRogatis, who has reported on Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse since 2000, writes that the singer may soon be arrested, according to a senior law enforcement official who has seen the video footage. CNN also reports that it has seen new footage that appears to show R. Kelly engaged in sex with a minor. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office, which solicited information on Kelly days after the release of Lifetime’s explosive documentary Surviving R. Kelly, did not immediately respond to Spin’s request for comment.
Earlier today, attorney Michael Avenatti issued a statement claiming that he provided a VHS tape that shows R. Kelly committing multiple sexual assaults against an underage girl to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. Avenatti said that his law firm was retained in April 2018 by multiple clients who allege they were sexually assaulted by Kelly as minors, and that the videotape was uncovered while investigating these claims. He added that the video depicts a different encounter than the infamous pissing incident, videotape of which was sent to the Chicago Sun-Times office in 2002 and cited as evidence in Kelly’s indictment for child pornography. Kelly was acquitted on those charges in 2008.
CNN reports that the tape provided to prosecutors by Avenatti lasts nearly 43 minutes and shows a naked man who appears to be R. Kelly performing multiple sexual acts with a girl. Both the girl and the man refer to her genitalia as “14-year-old pussy,” and the girl uses the number 14 to describe her body six times, according to the report. At one point in the footage, the man reportedly asks the girl to urinate, and after she does, he urinates on the girl. Avenatti told CNN that he represents a man who has worked for R. Kelly for decades, and that this man has identified the individuals on the tape as Kelly and a girl he has met multiple times in the past.
Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg responded to the new allegations on Twitter. “As we have said before, #RKelly, since being wrongly accused years ago, has always followed the law,” he wrote. Greenberg told CNN that he has not been contacted by law enforcement and is “unaware of any new information involving Mr. Kelly.”
In response to press inquiries, attached is a stmt regarding our work on the R. Kelly matter since April, including the discovery of new critical video evidence establishing his guilt. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that this predator is brought to justice. pic.twitter.com/D0dGFzgXlX
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) February 14, 2019