- A grand jury has convened in Chicago to evaluate potential criminal charges that could be brought against R. Kelly for sexual misconduct, according to a source close to the matter.
- The jury was reportedly convened after celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti surfaced and presented a tape to state attorneys that allegedly shows Kelly engaging in sex acts with a girl who says she is 14 years old.
- Neither Chicago prosecutors nor R. Kelly’s representatives responded to INSIDER’s requests for comment, but an attorney for the singer told CNN he had not heard from law-enforcement about any such tape.
- The developments come amid renewed interest in the longtime allegations against Kelly, which were reviewed and highlighted in the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”
A source close to the legal case against R. Kelly has confirmed to INSIDER that a grand jury convened last week in Chicago to begin the consideration of criminal charges against the artist around a tape that allegedly shows Kelly engaged in sex with a minor.
The news was first reported by The Blast Sunday morning.
The jury was reportedly convened by Cook County State’s Attorney Office after celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti presented the tape in question, which allegedly shows Kelly engaged in sexual activity with a girl who claims to be 14 years old. Both Kelly and the girl reportedly acknowledge her age on the tape. CNN has reportedly seen and verified the existence of the tape and its content.
Avenatti is representing a man who works for Kelly, that claims to know the identity of the girl.
Neither Chicago prosecutors nor R. Kelly’s representatives responded to INSIDER’s requests for comment on Sunday, but an attorney for the singer told CNN he had not heard from law-enforcement about any such tape.
“We are unaware of any new information involving Mr. Kelly,” the artist’s attorney Steve Greenberg told CNN. “We have not been contacted by anyone. We have not been informed about any new information by anyone and we have not been contacted by law enforcement.”
The grand jury has the power to create an indictment against Kelly and summon witnesses to testify.
Avenatti was spotted leaving the Cook County criminal courthouse on Friday with a state attorney. At the time, he told reporters, “I’m confident that the predator known as Robert Kelly is soon to be indicted and charged for engaging in an illegal sexual assault in connection with, certainly, the victim on the tape that I supplied, as well as others.”
The development comes after Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx made a public plea for victims to come forward in the wake of the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which featured stories and interviews from women who claimed to be victims of R. Kelly’s “sex cult.”
Kelly has faced allegations of sexual misconduct for many years but has maintained his innocence.