Thomas Conner: June 2008 Archives

Kelly superfans attended every day of trial

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"From the beginning, I thought he was innocent. I never had any doubt they would find him not guilty. And when they read the verdict, I wanted to scream, but I didn't. I had to control my happiness until I got outside."

That's from 23-year-old Keyonia Jones, one of the superfans profiled in an interesting piece from MTV News who attended the R. Kelly trial every day — who watched him make his entrance, who watched him go to lunch, who ran outside the building at the end of each day to watch him leave the courthouse. They left their children with sitters, they took time off work. All to stand by their man.

How did Hannah Montana get involved in this?

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Attorney Sam Adam Jr. delivered the opening and closing arguments for the defense in the R. Kelly child-porn trial. In so doing, he was noted for throwing in a lot of pop-cultural references, from "The Office" to Gary Coleman to the Wayans brothers and other jokey asides. He explained it to MTV News this way: "If you like someone, you give them the benefit of the doubt. And to give them the pop-culture references, to do those kinds of things, will certainly make you relate with the jury much better. I tried to do it for the young kids with Dave Chappelle; I tried to do it with the middle-aged ones who were more religious — like the preacher's wife — and give her Bible verses; and I tried to do with the older ones with [1950s TV show] 'The Honeymooners' and Ralph Kramden and the 'old squeeze play.' "

And that's how Miley Cyrus found her way into it ...

TMZ reports that nearly half of the R. Kelly trial jurors report the ultimate deciding factor in their not-guilty verdict was the absence of the alleged victim from the trial. Even though they "absolutely believed" it was him on the tape.

"Five of the twelve jurors met with reporters immediately after handing down the acquittal," TMZ reports. "They said they just couldn't reach a verdict even though they voted on the hour, every hour because the alleged victim hadn't testified and refused to cooperate. As recently as this morning, we're told, the vote was split nine to three for a not guilty verdict."

Prosecution witness 'surprised' by verdict

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R Kelly Trial.jpg
Lisa Van Allen, of Georgia, departs the Cook County Criminal Court Building after she testified for the prosecution June 2 in the child pornography trial of R&B singer R. Kelly in Chicago. (AP)

Lisa Van Allen, the star prosecution witness in the R. Kelly trial, says she's surprised by today's verdict.

"I am surprised that they made the decision this quickly," Van Allen tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "My job was to tell the truth and that is what I did. I will never regret that."

Not guilty. What do you think?

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R. Kelly leaves the Cook County Court House this afternoon and was found not guilty on all charges. (Scott Stewart/Sun-Times)

The jury has declared R. Kelly is not guilty on all counts levied against him in his child-pornography trial.

On this blog, we've seen numerous comments from readers on both sides of the issues — vigorous defenses of Kelly, vehement attacks on him, too. How will the verdict affect your outlook on Kelly, the man, his music, and the charges brought against him?

Comment below ...

As the dust settles from the R. Kelly not-guilty verdict, Entertainment Weekly rounds up the 50 Biggest Celeb Scandals Since 1985, with Kels leading the list.

As we await the reading of the verdict today, USA Today offers another consideration of R. Kelly's career post-trail, whether found guilty or innocent. The article quotes sources claiming that the verdict has already been rendered in public opinion.

There's also a hilarious, possibly ironic quotation by a source explaining the poor reception of Kelly's latest single, "Hair Braider." It didn't fall flat because of the child porn charges, says this radio exec, it's because "hair braiding isn't relevant anymore. If he wants to strive for the young (18-to-24 audience), he has to understand their tastes and lifestyle."

New music from Kelly — could he rebound?

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Never one to shy away from the kind of PR advantage a nationally reported child molestation trial can bring, R. Kelly has continued to release — officially and through Internet "leaks" — new music all year long.

His latest, a bouncy and unusually light track called "Body, Body," began making the rounds online this last weekend. Listen to it here.

R. Kelly on trial

The story of the allegations against R. Kelly started here in the Sun-Times. Almost six years later, it's now finally reached a trial.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Thomas Conner in June 2008.

Thomas Conner: May 2008 is the previous archive.

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