While he prepares to sing at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City on Friday (February 8), R&B heavyweight R. Kelly finds himself at the center of a police investigation back in his hometown of Chicago.
A story broke in the Chicago Sun-Times Friday saying an anonymous source gave the newspaper a videotape containing almost 27 minutes of footage of Kelly having sex with an underage girl. The publication also stated that the Chicago police were in possession of a copy of the tape and are currently looking into the matter.
Officer Patrice Harper, a spokesperson for the Chicago police department, confirmed that the 35-year-old artist is under investigation but would not offer any details or say if they had a videotape of Kelly and the girl.
The Sun-Times did not provide the name of Kelly's alleged sex partner, though the periodical reported that she is now 17 and that after viewing the tape, the girl's aunt said that she was 14 at the time it was made, based on her appearance.
In 1994, Kelly was at the center of a controversy because he was accused of marrying singer Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time, and getting an annulment shortly thereafter. An Illinois marriage license — one that placed Aaliyah's age as 18 at the time — soon surfaced. Neither Kelly nor Aaliyah, who was killed last summer in a plane crash, have ever commented on the matter.
A spokesperson for Kelly's label, Jive, said the company is preparing a statement. The singer's lawyer could not be reached for comment.