R. Kelly is on television, saying he never did anything illegal with underage girls.
“I didn’t do this stuff!” he told Gayle King on CBS. “This is not me!”
Trying to reach over the head of the legal system and speak directly to those who might be in his jury pool.
Which is his right, I suppose.
But R. Kelly’s is not the only voice on the matter.
There are the alleged victims. And the lawyers representing them. They will have their day in court.
There is also the past. The 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse with four women he’s accused of now are not the first charges Kelly has faced. In 2008 he was acquitted of child pornography charges; that case was dragged out over six years by a defense team headed by Ed Genson, a well-known, even notorious Chicago criminal defense attorney.
Genson is still around at 77, though ill, his usual candor honed by the approach of death.
“I have bile duct cancer,” he said in the paneled study of his Deerfield home. “Terminal cancer.”
Doctors gave him 90 days to live.
“That was a year and a half ago,” said Genson. “They don’t know what they’re doing.”
Perhaps this is a good moment to set the record straight.
“I’ve been a lawyer 54 years,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent criminal cases. I’ve represented entertainers, represented people connected to organized crime, represented professional criminals. I’ve represented guilty people, I represent innocent people.”
“I can say whatever I want, but we’ve got to do it fast,” he said. “It would be nice to get it down so somebody knows besides me.”
His father was a bail bondsman, and we talked about the profession of posting bond in the 1950s. Then Genson brought up a certain former client.
“When I represented Kelly in Florida, they set the bond at a $1 million,” he said. “We paid the bondsman $100,000. He was out on bond on the Florida case for three days and they made $100,000. Because he had to fly back to Chicago because they were going to arrest him here.”
Any insights into R. Kelly, the man? Guilty as hell?
“He was guilty as hell!” Genson said. “I don’t think he’s done anything inappropriate for years. I’ll tell you a secret: I had him go to a doctor to get shots, libido-killing shots. That’s why he didn’t get arrested for anything else.”
To continue reading, click here.