R. Kelly‘s team is taking legal action to prevent Surviving R. Kelly viewers from serving as jurors in his federal trial. According to TMZ, the singer’s lawyers filed a motion to exclude those who have seen “any portion” of the documentary, citing their inability to make a “fair” judgment in the case.
“This is an issue of potential jurors possessing a mountain of information about the specific allegations in this case and the witnesses’ stories that will play center stage at this trial and may or may not be admissible,” Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, argued in the motion, per the Chicago Tribune. “Allowing an individual to sit on this jury who has seen Surviving R. Kelly is no different than allowing a juror to sit on the jury who was permitted to preview the discovery in this case.”
U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber later deemed it inappropriate to reject potential jurors who’d seen any part of the documentary.
Jury selection for Kelly’s federal trial began on Monday. The judge hopes to get at least 40 potential jurors before proceeding to the next stage of the process.
As previously reported, Kelly is accused of engaging in sex acts with five minors and recording some of the abuse on multiple videos. He is also accused of conspiring to intimidate victims and conceal evidence in an effort to obstruct law enforcement.
Two former employees of Kelly’s music business, Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown, are also facing charges. McDavid, of Chicago, is accused of helping Kelly fix the 2008 trial, while Brown, also of Chicago, is accused of receiving child pornography, according to court documents. All three men have denied the allegations.
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