Michael Avenatti says he's discovered another tape of R. Kelly having sex with underage girl
By Madeline Buckley
Feb 14, 2019 | 4:05 AM
High-profile lawyer Michael Avenatti says he has given Cook County prosecutors a videotape that appears to show musician R. Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Avenatti said the tape was not among the evidence used against Kelly 10 years ago in a child pornography case that ended with Kelly's acquittal.
"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 said in a statement.
Asked about Avenatti’s claim, state’s attorney spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said, “We cannot confirm or deny an investigation.”
Avenatti told the Tribune he turned the tape over to the Cook County state's attorney's office within the last 30 days. He did not say who he spoke to in the office, or whether the Chicago Police Department is investigating.
The video appears to have been made in the late 1990s in Chicago, he said. It apparently was filmed at a residence of R. Kelly's, though not his Near West Side studio, he said.
He did not release information on the victim in the video because she was a minor at the time.
Saying she was “deeply, deeply disturbed” by a documentary series detailing longstanding allegations of sexual misconduct against R&B superstar R. Kelly, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on Tuesday called on any accusers to come forward.
CNN reported that it has seen the tape. It quoted Avenatti as saying that his 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."
The New Yorker and other media outlets also reported on the surfacing of the tape.
Steve Greenberg, Kelly's attorney, said he has not had any contact with prosecutors and is confident his client has done nothing wrong.
“I certainly don’t think there’s a tape of him acting inappropriately with an underaged woman,” he told the Tribune. “Avenatti says some guy says he knows the girl. We’ll see what it is. If they’ve got a tape, when I see the tape, I’ll evaluate what I think. But right now I don’t think he’s done anything wrong, I don’t think there’s any evidence he’s done anything wrong.”
While the allegations against Kelly have long been known, the singer has largely enjoyed widespread support, but that support seems to be eroding. A scheduled performance at the UIC Pavilion last year was canceled after a public outcry, and the recent Lifetime series has helped bring the troubling allegations into the social media spotlight.