A Pennsylvania man claimed Sunday to have discovered a videocassette that shows singer R. Kelly “sexually abusing underage African-American girls.”
Nursing home worker Gary Dennis said he found the recording in a box of VHS cassettes in his home, describing it as “a sports tape, but it also had R. Kelly’s name on it.”
“I thought it was a recording of a R. Kelly concert. I watched the sports on the tape and then continued to watch what I thought would be a R. Kelly concert,” he said during a news conference in Manhattan.
“To my shock and surprise, R. Kelly appeared to be on the tape but not in concert. Instead, he was sexually abusing underage African-American girls.”
Dennis added: “He was telling them what to do and what to say, and it appeared that he was in control of the camera. In addition, he was engaging with these children in sexually abusive acts.”
“He appeared to be in command of the girls and they looked as though they were just saying and doing what he told them to do,” he said.
Dennis also described himself as a former fan of the R&B superstar, saying, “It breaks my heart to see a celebrity whose music I used to love take advantage of children and harm them in this way.”
Dennis appeared at the Lotte New York Palace hotel with his wife, Sallie, and their lawyer, Gloria Allred, to say they’d turned the tape over to the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn.
Allred said the tape appeared to be different from the one that helped lead to Kelly’s recent indictment in Chicago on ten counts of aggravated sexual abuse.
Those charges involve four underage victims who were allegedly harmed between 1998 and 2010.
The lawyer said it’s unclear how the Dennises, who have two adult daughters, came to possess the tape.
“Over the years there have been friends that gave him sports tapes because they know he likes sports and he has no idea….These are very old tapes,” she said.
Allred said she wouldn’t detail “the specific abusive acts that appear on the tape.”
“It is fair to say, however, that no child should ever be subjected to the kind of abuse and degrading sexually predatory misconduct depicted on the tape,” she added.
Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, said his client “denies that he is on any tape with under-aged girls.”
“The doubt here is self-evident, with reporting that the man on the tape kinda, sorta looks like R. Kelly. That doesn’t make it him. It is not him,” he said.
Greenberg also said the “larger question” regarding the tape was whether the Dennises would face prosecution over what they “believe is child pornography in their tape collection.”
Allred suggested that remark was “just a scare tactic to deter individuals who may have similar tapes from coming forward to provide them to me or law enforcement.”
Meanwhile, lawyer Michael Avenatti, who last month gave Chicago prosecutors two tapes he said show Kelly engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old girl — including the tape that led to Kelly’s indictment — cast doubt on the Dennises’ find and took a shot at Allred.
“Over the last week, we have had 5 other individuals contact us with tapes that they claim show R. Kelly having sex with underage girls. Upon investigation, they don’t and the individuals would have no reason to have such a tape,” he tweeted.
“Publicizing this ‘evidence’ undermines the process.”