Following recent reports of additional allegations against R. Kelly, the R&B singer and producer has been formally charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that charges were handed down Friday morning in Cook County, with a court date set for March 8. The charges come just weeks after attorney Michael Avenatti turned over a recently discovered videotape that allegedly contained footage of Kelly engaged in sex acts with a minor. CNN had reviewed the 40-minute tape, in which it was made “clear and explicit” that the minor was 14 years of age–not unlike similar charges for which Kelly was acquitted in 2002. It has not yet been confirmed if any of the 10 criminal charges brought against Kelly today are related to the tape Avenatti turned over.
As of Friday afternoon, R. Kelly’s attorney Steven Greenberg said he had not yet been made aware of any charges against his client. Greenberg has also maintained that Kelly denies any wrongdoing in the matter: In January, he told the Associated Press, “[Kelly] never knowingly had sex with an underage woman, he never forced anyone to do anything, he never held anyone captive, he never abused anyone.” The sexual abuse allegations against Kelly were revived and re-examined in the wake of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly, a multi-part docuseries that featured interviews with the singer’s alleged victims and offered new evidence against him. In the weeks following the premiere of the series, several artists who previously collaborated with Kelly apologized for doing so, including Lady Gaga and Phoenix. Sony Music, Kelly’s longtime label, finally parted ways with the singer in January.