R. Kelly’s Aide Allegedly Paid Woman To Return Sex Tape

By Allen Starbury  |  05/09/2008

R. KellyOn Friday (May 9), as jury selection is scheduled to begin in R. Kelly's long-delayed child-pornography trial, more shocking info has been leaked in the case.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a judge was told last month, in closed-door hearings, that R. Kelly's aide allegedly paid a woman -- who recently revealed she would testify that she and the underage girl at the center of the case had a threesome with Kellz -- to return an incriminating sex tape featuring the singer.

It is unclear how much the aide paid the unnamed women for the tape, but it said she did receive payment and arranged for the tape to be sent to the aide. It was also unclear if Kelly knew about the deal.

The paper reported that Judge Vincent Gaughan held four closed-door hearings in April that dealt with the potential testimony of the Atlanta woman, who can allegedly identify the girl in the original tape and testify that she was underage at the time.

For her testimony, the woman will be granted immunity from federal and state prosecution for charges of transporting child pornography across state lines.

The unnamed woman's testimony will be one of the main focuses of the prosecution's case, to help rebuke the testimony of the alleged victim, who is now in her 20s, and denied before a grand jury that she appears in the tape. The allegedly underage victim is also said to possibly testify as a defense witness in the trial.

Once the news broke about the ATL woman's claims, Kelly's lawyers asked for yet another delay in the trial. But, on Friday, Gaughan denied the request.

However, Kelly's lawyer asked again on Friday, arguing that widespread articles suggest someone is trying to sabotage the case and taint the jury's opinions. He asked for an investigation into the leaks and asked again for the trial to be delayed.

The judge said he would make a decision in the coming weeks, pending jury selection.

The trial's court documents have been sealed, and the judge has issued a gag order in order to ensure that Kelly gets a fair trial.