UPDATED 2/15/19 10:55 a.m. ET: A source described as a senior law enforcement official tells the New Yorker that, following the news of a new tape in which the singer is alleged to be engaging in sexual acts with a minor, R. Kelly may be headed for an indictment. The official said that the new tape "may soon lead to his indictment" in Illinois. Kelly was previously indicted in the state in 2002 on 21 counts of child pornography in connection with a separate alleged tape. In 2008, he was acquitted.
See original story from 2/14/19 below.
In a report published Thursday afternoon, CNN said they have viewed the tape, noting it "appears to show Kelly having sex with a girl who refers to her body parts as 14 years old."
Avenatti, who's currently repping an alleged Kelly whistleblower, added context to the tape in a statement to the news outlet. According to Avenatti, his client "knows the identity" of both Kelly and the unidentified girl seen in the tape. His client reportedly worked for Kelly for decades.
The "clear and explicit" tape is said by CNN to span nearly 43 minutes in length and shows a man, allegedly Kelly, engaging in multiple sexual acts with the girl (including urination) while repeatedly referring to "14-year-old pussy."
A mole that could possibly identify the man in the video as Kelly is also mentioned in the report as being visible in the newly surfaced video. Kelly's own identifying mole, as detailed here, was a source of contention in a previous child pornography case for which Kelly was acquitted in 2008. At the time, Kelly's legal team explained the presence of the mole in that video as the purported work of video editing or a glitch.
In a separate statement tweeted immediately after the CNN report's publication, Avenatti clarified that the tape in question is indeed not the same one around which previous similar allegations against Kelly were based.
"As part of our effort to ensure that Mr. Kelly is finally held accountable for his repeated sexual assaults of minors spanning over two decades, we have provided extensive information, including the videotape described above and witnesses, to Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx in Chicago," Avenatti said, adding that Foxx is an "exceptional, dedicated" prosecutor who's "committed' to thoroughly investigating these new developments.
In a statement included in the initial report Thursday, Kelly's lawyer Steve Greenberg said his team was "unaware of any new information" involving his client. "We have not been contacted by anyone," he said. "We have not been informed about any new information by anyone and we have not been contacted by law enforcement." The State's Attorney's Office neither confirmed nor denied a related investigation.
The long history of such allegations surrounding Kelly was revived in the mainstream with this year's Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly.
In an interview with Complex, executive producer dream hampton spoke of the "informal network" that Kelly's alleged victims have maintained. That network, hampton said, proved crucial in the development of the series.
"These are women who lived in his house and studio for years, and have the same story about being forbidden to talk," dream hampton told Complex. "So once those women become free of those barriers, they're looking to connect with each other, to know that they weren't the only ones."