Judge says court can see star's sex video

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The Independent US

A US judge has decided to allow the public and the media to watch a videotape in court that prosecutors claim shows the singer R Kelly (real name Robert) having sex with an underage girl.

Ruling in Chicago, Judge Vincent Gaughan said there was no "overarching interest" in preventing the tape from being viewed. He added: "This is the whole crux... of the case. If there was no tape, we wouldn't have a case."

Prosecution and defence lawyers had asked the judge to limit viewing to the jury and to himself, to prevent embarrassment to the girl. Kelly, famous for hits such as "Bump N' Grind" and "I Believe I Can Fly", is accused of having sex with her at some point between 1998 and 2000, when she would have been aged between 13 and 15. She is now 21.

The 39-year-old singer, who is also accused of urinating on the girl, has denied 14 separate counts of child pornography. He faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted. A date for the trial has not been set.

In 1994 Kelly, a Grammy winner, secretly married R&B singer Aaliyah, who was then just 15. The marriage was later annulled. Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001.

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