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 News Archive: R. Kelly

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 Why doesn't it matter if he's been set up? ...

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 Is the man in the tape R. Kelly — or could it be someone else? ...

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 Does R. Kelly have a thing for underage girls? ...

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 "I am confident people will see that I'm no criminal."

R. Kelly: In His Own Words

 R. Kelly Reports

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That said, the tape still could be a fabrication, McCourt added. But it would have required technological — and financial — feats on the order of some of the special effects in the "Lord of the Rings" movies. "It's an extremely intense, very detailed process," McCourt said, "and it would take a lot of time and money to morph somebody into a videotape. Even when I look at a commercial that's done for millions of dollars, where they take Humphrey Bogart and superimpose him into the commercial, I can still see that it's not exactly right. And that's done with the most amounts of money and the best technicians. This is home video, and it doesn't really lend itself to morphing."

Still, Kelly has stuck to his story. "I'm not a professional in [the video] area," he told MTV News when he sat down to address the charges in 2002. "But I do know this: It's not me. And if it's gotten me to this point, sitting in this chair talking to you about this, then it's obvious someone who is real good at doctoring, or whatever, did this."

The Man on the Tape — Is it R. Kelly?

The Colorado Room
Kelly insists that the man in the tape is not him, and he claims to be hurt and astonished that anyone could believe that it is. "I'm no guy that would do this," he said. "There are a lot of people out there saying that R. Kelly is a monster, and I just think there are a lot of people out there that are misinformed about who I am... There's a lot of things that I've done in my life that I truly regret, but I'm no criminal."

Can the prosecution prove otherwise? They might attempt to do so by using a "compare-contrast" demonstration: taking images of the singer from the period of time in which the tape was allegedly made and comparing them to the images on the tape. And there are plenty of R. Kelly images to use for this purpose, as he's made an extraordinary number of music videos over the years. There are also some other images of Kelly available to the court: Although he made no Michael Jackson-like complaints at the time, Kelly, too, has been forced to strip and be photographed by the police as part of their investigation.

Another element that could be used to implicate Kelly is the room in which the tape was allegedly filmed. Prosecutors contend it's a very particular room, in the basement level of a Chicago mansion formerly owned by the singer, known as the Colorado Room. It has a distinctive log-cabin motif as well as a hot tub. The prosecution is expected to call not only the mansion's current owners, but also people involved with the design and construction of that room. The new owners of the mansion told MTV News they found video cameras in the Colorado Room, and a special keycard entry system.

The defense may concede that the room in the tape is indeed Kelly's. But they could then argue that it still doesn't prove Kelly is the man in the tape, because other people might have had access to the room. It's possible they may offer up Kelly's younger brother, Carey Kelly, and argue that the two look alike on tape. To that end, a tape of Carey's appearance on a TV show has been subpoenaed for possible compare-contrast purposes. Carey was startled — and not at all happy — to hear about this possible defense strategy.

R. Kelly and Carey Kelly
Kelly has claimed all along that he's never even seen the Chicago tape, that he doesn't know where it came from, that the whole accusation was just out of left field. That's a harder argument to make if any evidence is introduced from the Florida case, in which Polk County police said they found a digital camera — containing still images of a man they say is Kelly having sex with an underage girl — in the locked bedroom of a house the singer was renting. Kelly was charged with child pornography by Florida authorities, who later had to drop the charges because of a problem with how the search warrants were worded. The challenge for Chicago prosecutors, if they believe the photos could bolster their case, is to get the judge to allow the Florida evidence to be admitted in this trial, even though it wasn't admissible in Florida.

"There will be a battle over what the jury hears or not," Chicago jury consultant Paul Lisnek said. "But we can be sure the jury knows [about the Florida case]."

Next: Does Kelly have a thing for underage girls? The story so far ...
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