CHICAGO (CBS) — Attorney Michael Avenatti said he has new video evidence proving singer R. Kelly sexually abused an underage girl, and claimed he has given the evidence to Cook County prosecutors.
“This is the piece of evidence that I think prosecutors have needed for the better part of two decades,” Avenatti said in a Thursday interview with CBS News. “In my opinion, it’s over for R. Kelly.”
He says he was retained by “multiple” individuals seeking representation as they come forward with allegations against Kelly for sexually assaulting minors.
Kelly’s attorney questions the report. His client denies illegal behavior in a statement.
“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,” his attorney wrote.
But Avenatti claims to have gone through a significant authentication process with the tape.
“There is no question that not only could this tape lead to his arrest, it will lead to his arrest and incarceration. This is a bombshell of epic proportions,” Avenatti said.
He says the 45-minute video depicts two different scenes, shot on separate days, where both the female victim and R. Kelly refer to her as being “14 years of age.”
Another tape surfaced when Kelly stood trial for a child pornography charge more than 10 years ago. Charges did not lead to a conviction.
Avenatti claims Kelly’s voice is recognizable and identifiable in the new video.
According to CNN, who reported they reviewed the tape, it’s much clearer.
“It is very clear video, that is quite different from the tape that was being sold back in the 90s and 2000s that was used in the first trial,” one reporter said.
And if you remember the tape that surfaced when Kelly stood trial for a child pornography charge, more than 10 years ago, ending in Kelly’s acquittal; Avenatti claims Kelly’s voice is recognizable and identifiable in the new video. According to CNN, who reported they viewed the new tape, it’s much clearer.
“It’s very clear video, much clearer than the video that was being seen in the 1990s and 2000s that was used in the first trial.”
It’s not clear when the VHS was made, but a legal expert explained to CBS 2, in Illinois, there is no statute of limitations on criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children.
Kelly’s attorney claims Avenatti came forward with all of this Thursday to distract the public from recent unfavorable reports involving him.