Embattled R&B singer R. Kelly attended a status hearing in his upcoming child pornography trial in Chicago on Friday (September 20), but this time he was joined by his younger brother, Carey Kelly.
Rumor has it that Robert Kelly's defense attorneys are looking to argue how it could be Carey Kelly — and not R. — on the sex tape at the center of the criminal investigation, and thus cast doubt on the charges against the singer. That rumor was taken seriously enough that prosecutors subpoenaed an episode of "The Judge Mathis Show" in which Carey Kelly had appeared, apparently to evaluate the resemblance on videotape between the two.
While Robert Kelly's defense attorneys won't discuss strategy, Carey Kelly is concerned. He told the Chicago Sun-Times that he had heard his brother's attorney say on the news that it could be him on the tape (Ed Genson, Kelly's main criminal attorney, denied making such a statement). "The person on the tape is not me," Carey Kelly told the Sun-Times. "If need be, I am willing to take a lie detector test to prove that it is not me. I feel that my character is being damaged."
Carey, who toured with his older brother from 1990 to 1996, also said he wasn't willing to sacrifice his reputation as a defense tactic. "No dollar amount in the world would get me to do that," he told the paper. "I've got kids. Not a dollar in the world could buy my soul."
Outside of speculation that Carey Kelly could be used as a defense ploy, defense strategies so far have revolved around two points — R. Kelly saying that it's not him on the sex tape, and his lawyers saying that the girl on the tape was of age. Chicago authorities have said she was 14 at the time the tape was made.
Besides his younger brother's appearance, Kelly's camp characterized Friday's hearing as "no big deal." The prosecution passed along 1,000 pages of evidence, which they declined to describe. Kelly's passport was also officially turned over to the court, even though it had technically been given up at his last hearing on August 30 (see "R. Kelly Gets Judge's OK To Leave State For Club Date").
The Cook County state attorney's office said the prosecution hopes to finish its side of discovery at the next hearing, which could allow a trial date to be set soon, pending any motions the defense has to make regarding suppressing evidence or excluding witnesses.
Kelly, who is due back in court November 1, was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography in June (see "R. Kelly Arrested On 21 Counts Of Child Pornography"). He pleaded not guilty to all charges later that month (see "R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty To Child Pornography Charges"). (Click for a full explanation of the charges.)
For a feature interview with R. Kelly discussing the charges against him, see "R. Kelly: In His Own Words."
For full coverage of the R. Kelly sex tape scandal, see The R. Kelly Reports.