A Chicago judge ruled Friday that cameras will be allowed in the courtroom when R&B star R. Kelly goes on trial for 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse later this month, but added that the singer’s accusers can’t be photographed or filmed without their consent.
Associate Judge Lawrence Flood made the comments during a brief hearing in Cook County Circuit Court. He added that two of Kelly’s accusers have already said they don’t want to be filmed. Kelly’s next hearing is on March 22.
R. Kelly, whose full name is Robert Kelly, is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time. Rumors that he raped underage girls and women, holding some as virtual slaves, have dogged him for decades. An explosive documentary series, “Surviving R. Kelly,” aired in January and brought new scrutiny on the Chicago native.
Kelly has vehemently has denied the allegations against him.
In a recent interview with “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King, Kelly swore he “didn’t do this stuff” and said he’s “fighting for his life.”
Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 after prosecutors alleged that a video of him having sex with a 13-year-old existed.
During the King interview he said, “I beat my case. When you beat something, you beat it. You can’t double-jeopardy me like that.”
Having cameras in the courtroom is becoming a common occurrence.
Another judge in the same courthouse agreed Thursday to allow cameras in “Empire” actor’s Jussie Smollett’s plea hearing. Smollett is charged with 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct after authorities alleged he lied about being the victim of a hate crime.
Cameras were also allowed in the high-profile trial of Jason Van Dyke, a Chicago police officer convicted in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was sentenced to 81 months earlier this year.