Lawyer says R. Kelly paid U.S $2M to silence girl he assaulted

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Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti said Monday that R&B singer R. Kelly paid US$2 million to keep the alleged victim in a child pornography case off the witness stand during a 2008 trial that ended with his acquittal on all charges.

He said Kelly paid at least one associate $100,000 to hunt down videos of him having sex with a minor that had gone missing.

Avenatti said he represents three alleged victims, three parents of victims and three associates of Kelly that he called “whistleblowers.”

Avenatti’s comments come just days after federal prosecutors announced they’d indicted Kelly in New York and Chicago on charges that he and his entourage recruited girls and young women to engage in illegal sexual activity and covered it up by paying and threatening witnesses and victims.

The 52-year-old Kelly was arrested and remains in federal custody.

He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a bond hearing, during which prosecutors are expected to argue that he should remain locked up because he is both dangerous and a flight risk. His attorney has denied the allegations.