Michael Avenatti says he has given a previously unseen R. Kelly sex tape to Chicago authorities
More than a decade after R. Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges (which he has consistently denied), CNN reports that a new videotape has emerged that allegedly shows the popular R&B singer having sex with a girl who describes her body parts as 14 years old. Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, cast doubt on these reports in a statement to EW and continues to deny all accusations against Kelly.
On Thursday, Michael Avenatti — known in the public eye as the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battles with President Donald Trump — tweeted out a statement saying that since 2018 his law office has been working with clients in connection with sexual assault allegations against Kelly. In the statement, Avenatti said his office had uncovered new evidence against the singer, including “a VHS videotape of Mr. Kelly engaging in multiple sexual assaults of a girl underage.”
The statement continues, “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. Importantly, this conclusive video evidence is not the same evidence previously seen and used in connection the prior criminal matter in which Mr. Kelly was charged nor does it depict the same instances of sexual assault. Further, the time frame of the sexual assaults depicted in the video is within the Illinois statute of limitations.”
Avenatti’s statement concludes by saying his office had provided the tape and other evidence to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. Last month, in the wake of the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly and its allegations against Kelly, Foxx made a public call for potential victims or witnesses to come forward and share their experiences. On Thursday, longtime R. Kelly reporter Jim DeRogatis wrote in The New Yorker that “a videotape from the R&B superstar R. Kelly’s past may soon lead to his indictment in Illinois, according to a senior law-enforcement official.”
The Cook County state’s attorney’s office did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment on this story. In a statement to EW, Greenberg said that neither he nor Kelly had been contacted by law enforcement.
On Thursday, CNN reported that it has seen the tape in question. Reporter Sara Sidner described it as lasting 42 minutes and 45 seconds, and containing two scenes, one “apparently” in a living room and the other in a bathroom. Sidner wrote, “A naked man who appears to be R. Kelly is seen performing multiple sex acts with the girl. She is heard calling him ‘daddy’ multiple times.” Multiple women interviewed in Surviving R. Kelly say that Kelly often required lovers to refer to him as “daddy.”
When reached for comment by EW, Greenberg said in a statement, “I understand that CNN says 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 the other facts I know leads me to question the reports.”
Greenberg’s statement continued, “I have not been contacted by anyone connected with law enforcement, nor has R. Kelly. Mr. Kelly denies that he has engaged in any illegal conduct, of any kind whatsoever.”