R. Kelly’s lawyer believes Michael Avenatti’sarrest on federal extortion charges could torpedo the singer’s sex abuse case, according to a report Tuesday.
Steve Greenberg is calling into question the “chain of custody” of the alleged sex tape believed to be the smoking gun in the case against Kelly, TMZ reported.
He said there’s a possibility that the tape — which allegedly shows the R&B star engaged in a sex act with a minor — could’ve been altered before it landed in prosecutors’ hands.
Avenatti, who represents several of Kelly’s alleged victims and their family members, got the damning evidence from a person who’s extorted Kelly before, sources told the gossip site.
The man recently confessed to Chicago prosecutors that the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer’s team forked over about $1 million to prevent the tape from going public in the past — raising the question of how the recording wound up in Avenatti’s possession.
Avenatti said he turned over two sex tapes to prosecutors but Greenberg told TMZ he’s only aware of one.
Kelly is facing 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of four victims, including three minors.
Avenatti, meanwhile, was arrested Monday on charges that he tried to extort more than $20 million from Nike by threatening “to release damaging information” about the sneaker giant, according to court papers.
Nelly was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with second-degree rape following an incident that occurred on the rapper’s tour bus following a Friday night concert in Auburn, Washington.
Nelly, born Cornell Haynes Jr., was booked into Des Moines, Washington’s SCORE Jail just before 6:40 a.m. PST Saturday, three hours after the Auburn Police Department responded to a call from a woman who said that the rapper raped her on the tour bus.
Nelly is currently on the Smooth Stadium Tour with Florida Georgia Line and the Backstreet Boys; the trek came to Auburn’s White River Amphitheatre on Friday night.
According to Q13 Fox, following the concert, Nelly came to nearby Seattle and picked up a woman who he then brought back to his tour bus in Auburn, which was parked behind a local Wal-Mart.
At 3:48 a.m., the woman called police and said Nelly sexually assaulted her on the bus. Auburn Police, citing probable cause for arrest, took the rapper into custody and charged him with second-degree rape. After less than 90 minutes at SCORE, Nelly was released from custody at 8:02 a.m.
“A female called 911 to report that she was sexually assaulted by a male, who is known as the rapper ‘Nelly.’ The alleged assault was reported to occur on the tour bus that was parked at the listed location,” Auburn Police said in a statement. “Nelly had performed at the White River Amphitheater just hours before.” The department added, “Auburn Police are continuing to investigate this incident. The above details are all we have to release at this time.”
The rapper’s representatives did not respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment, but a lawyer for Nelly told TMZ, “Nelly is the victim of a completely fabricated allegation. Our initial investigation, clearly establishes the allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness. I am confident, once the scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges. Nelly is prepared to pursue all all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation.”
The Smooth Stadium Tour comes to Ridgefield, Washington Saturday night.
Nelly has released a statement following his arrest Saturday morning on second-degree rape. “Let me say that I am beyond shocked that I have been targeted with this false allegation,” the rapper tweeted. “I am completely innocent. I am confident that once the facts are looked at, it will be very clear that I am the victim of a false allegation. I do want to apologize to my loved ones for the embarrassment and for putting myself in a situation where I could be victimized by this false and defaming allegation. I also want to thank my fans for their unwavering support. They know me. I assure you I will be vindicated. And I assure you, I will pursue every legal option to address this defaming claim.”
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Run DMC is accusing Walmart and Amazon of using the group’s famous logo on products they are selling without their permission.
The Run-DMC LLC. has filed a lawsuit against the Walmart superstores and mega-retailer Amazon saying that they are “advertising, selling, manufacturing, promoting and distributing multiple products with the logo, making people believe the group is behind the merchandise.”
The lawsuit claims the products include a variety of Run-DMC-inspired merchandise like glasses, hats, t-shirts, patches, wallets, and other items.
Run-DMC also claims that the mega retailers have had the same issues with several other companies for straight-up stealing their logos.
According to Run-DMC, their logo is extremely valuable. The group pointed out their $1.6 million agreement with Adidas. Part of the reason why Run-DMC is seeking $50 million in damages from both Amazon and Walmart.
Amazon and Walmart have yet to release statements regarding the lawsuit against them.
Run-DMC is an American hip hop group from Queens, New York who rose to popularity in the eighties.