CHICAGO (CBS) — Nearly three months after R. Kelly was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, involving four alleged victims, defense attorneys said prosecutors still have not provided them with a copy of the videotape allegedly showing the singer sexually assaulting an underage girl.
At a hearing on Kelly’s case on Tuesday, defense attorney Steve Greenberg said he was working with prosecutors to set up a time that the defense team can view the video, once prosecutors have finished making a copy for them.
“The state has the tape. I can’t get it from them. They have to produce it. They have an obligation to produce it,” he said after the hearing. “Maybe the squirrels are working slowly.”
Kelly also appears to be beefing up his legal team. At the last hearing on the criminal case in April, Greenberg was the only lawyer to appear on Kelly’s behalf. At Tuesday’s hearing, at least five more attorneys joined the team.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Cook County prosecutors handed over hundreds of pages of financial records tied to settlements paid to two of Kelly’s accusers. Greenberg called those settlement agreements the result of “extortion efforts,” and noted Kelly admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlements.
For their part, prosecutors said they are seeking the Chicago Public Schools records of one of the victims in the case.
Meantime, Greenberg said he is trying to reach an agreement with prosecutors to preserve all emails, text messages, and other communications between Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office and celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents at least one of the accusers in the case, and supplied prosecutors with the 45-minute video allegedly showing Kelly abusing an underage girl.
Judge Lawrence Flood said, if the defense and prosecution can’t reach an agreement on those documents, Greenberg should supplement his motion to preserve all communication between Foxx’s office and Avenatti, to provide specifics on what he’s looking for, and why.
“Talk about it, and then if you can’t reach a resolution on that, and you feel that that information is relevant, I want you to file a motion,” Flood said. “I need to know specifics. In other words, what do you think that you hope to gain from that for the defense of Mr. Kelly.”
Kelly was due back in court in his criminal case on June 26.
Meantime, he also has a hearing scheduled for Wednesday regarding child support payments to his ex-wife. Kelly was jailed for three nights earlier this year, after failing to pay more than $161,000 in overdue child support. He was released after friends and family paid the money for him.
Kelly also is seeking to vacate a default judgment entered against him in a civil lawsuit filed by one of the accusers in his criminal case. The woman, who says she was 16 when the abuse happened, filed the lawsuit for at least $50,000 in damages. She after meeting her in 1998, Kelly had sex with her and acknowledged the behavior was inappropriate.
Judge Moira Johnson granted the woman a default judgment against Kelly when he failed to respond to her lawsuit, or show up in court.
Defense attorney Zaid Abdallah has said the singer did not show up for hearings in that lawsuit because he was served notice of the case while he was in jail over his failure to pay child support, and didn’t understand the documents he was given, because he can’t read.
A hearing on that lawsuit has been scheduled for Wednesday, and Abdallah said he expects the judge will vacate her ruling against Kelly.