Stormy Daniels' lawyer says he has tape allegedly showing R Kelly engaging in illegal conduct with an underage girl
For weeks now, rumours and allegations about R Kelly have been circulating the media. The Ignition artist was placed under criminal investigation last month following statements made by a number of women in the Lifetime docuseries, 'Surviving R. Kelly'.
Now, as part of that investigation, celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti claims that he has video evidence of the R&B singer assaulting an underage girl.
Avenatti, who famously represents Stormy Daniels (the porn star who was paid off by President Donald Trump), released a statement on Twitter yesterday to say that he had in his possession a 45-minute VHS tape which proved that Kelly has previously engaged in abusive behaviour towards women and minors.
CNN have allegedly reviewed the tape, and have reported that it "appears to show Kelly having sex with a girl who refers to her body parts as 14 years old".
The tape has been sent to prosecutors in Chicago, Avenatti said.
The lawyer was also careful to point out that the events shown on the video have not been previously disclosed, and therefore act as new evidence in the case against Kelly. In fact, according to the New Yorker, this tape could be the thing to finally lead to the musician's indictment.
Kelly's lawyer, Steve Greenberg, says that neither he nor his client have been contacted by law enforcement over the tape. Just last month, though, he insisted that Kelly was innocent of all accusations, saying that Kelly "never knowingly had sex with an underage woman, he never forced anyone to do anything, he never held anyone captive, he never abused anyone."
Chicago police have also refused to confirm or comment on any investigation into Kelly since Avenatti's claims about the tape, "given the sensitivity and seriousness of the allegations."
This is not the first time that Kelly has faced a criminal investigation, of course.
Back in 2002, the musician was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography. In this instance, too, there was a tape from the late 1990s that appeared to show Kelly (32 years old at the time) sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. He was acquitted of all charges six years later in 2008.
According to CNN, "What is on the [new] video mirrors some of the alleged acts for which Kelly was arrested for child pornography in 2002."
This time around, though, prosecutors and legal officials are determined to see Kelly face justice.
"Since April, I have been working on the R. Kelly matter," Avenatti tweeted a couple of weeks ago. "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."
Kelly's lawyer continues to defend his client and says that, if CNN has seen the video, they would have been committing a crime.
"I understand that CNN says that they have seen this video. If the video were what it is claimed to be, by sharing it with CNN Mr. Avenatti would be committing a felony, as would the reporter who viewed it. I doubt if either would put themselves in that position. That combined with other facts that I know lead me to question the reports."
The case continues.