R.Kelly paid $2m to silence girl: lawyer

R.Kelly "bought his acquittal" by paying an alleged victim not to take the stand, a lawyer says.
R.Kelly "bought his acquittal" by paying an alleged victim not to take the stand, a lawyer says.

Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti says R&B singer R.Kelly paid $US2 million to keep the alleged victim in a child pornography case off the witness stand during a 2008 trial that ended with his acquittal on all charges.

"R.Kelly bought his acquittal," Avenatti said at a Monday news conference in which he provided details of what he said has been a years-long effort by Kelly to prevent his sexual abuse of several girls from becoming public.

He said Kelly paid at least one associate $US100,000 to hunt down videos of him having sex with a minor that had gone missing.

Avenatti said he represented three alleged victims, three parents of victims and three associates of Kelly he called "whistleblowers".

Avenatti's comments come just days after federal prosecutors announced they'd indicted Kelly in New York and Chicago on charges he and his entourage recruited girls and young women to engage in illegal sexual activity and covered it up by paying and threatening witnesses and victims.

Kelly, 52, was arrested and remains in federal custody. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday for a bond hearing.

Much of what Avenatti said Monday had already been outlined in the indictments.

Avenatti said two associates of Kelly turned tapes of the singer having sex with minors over to him and he turned them over to Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office this year.

He said Foxx's office turned those tapes over to federal prosecutors.

Avenatti faces his own legal problems: the one-time lawyer for Stormy Daniels, who says President Donald Trump tried to pay her off after she had a sexual encounter with him in 2006, has been charged with stealing money from clients and attempting to extort money from sportswear maker Nike.

Australian Associated Press