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A man who was cleaning out an old videotape collection found what he thought to be a recording of R&B singer R. Kelly in concert, but instead it turned out to show a man who appeared to be Kelly sexually abusing girls, he and his attorney said Sunday.
“To my shock and surprise, R. Kelly appeared to be on the tape, but not in concert,” Gary Dennis said. “Instead he was sexually abusing underaged African-American girls.”
“I was disgusted and horrified when I saw that,” he added.
The man then turned the tape over to law enforcement, according to his attorney Gloria Allred. She and Dennis would not discuss the specifics of the tape during a news conference in New York, but Allred said it appears to show a separate incident from ones that have resulted in 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse against Kelly in Chicago, though she acknowledged she could not be “100 percent certain” that the man in the tape is Kelly. Allred said they assume the girls in the video were underage because they didn’t appear to have fully developed physically.
Steve Greenberg, an attorney for Kelly, noted that lack of certainty.
“The doubt here is self-evident, with reporting that the man on the tape kinda, sorta looks like R. Kelly,” Greenberg said Sunday in an email. “That doesn’t make it him. It is not him.”
Greenburg also said Kelly “denies that he is on any tape with underaged girls.”
“It is obviously now just open season on R. Kelly,” Greenberg said.
Kelly is out on bail after being arrested Feb. 22 on criminal sex abuse charges in Chicago. He was briefly jailed last week for failure to pay child support, but was released after an anonymous fan paid off what was owed.
The recording artist has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves. Kelly has consistently denied any sexual misconduct, and he was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. Kelly’s alleged sexual misconduct captured national attention again in the wake of Lifetime’s shocking “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary, a documentary that Kelly called full of lies during an explosive interview that aired last week on “CBS This Morning.”
In that interview, he defended his relationship with two young women - Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage - whose parents say he is holding hostage.
"I love them and it's almost like they're my girlfriends,” he said, accusing their parents of giving the women to him. “It's like, you know, we have a relationship. It's real. And I know guys, I've known guys all my life that have five or six women, OK? So don't go there on me, OK? Because that's the truth.”
Kelly cried, yelled, and claimed he was fighting for his life during the bizarre and emotional appearance.
Allred, who represents women who say they were abused by Kelly, said the tape from Dennis was turned over to law enforcement in the federal Eastern District of New York. She didn’t say why it went to that venue. A representative for the office declined to comment.
Allred encouraged anyone who was in possession of similar tapes to come forward, either to her or to law enforcement.
Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents two of Kelly’s alleged victims has alluded to the existence of a third tape when the second alleged tape emerged earlier this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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