Last week’s jury selection was a nice appetizer for the buffet of weird that the R. Kelly trial will be, but judging by the opening arguments that kicked off the real action today, there’s much to look forward to in the upcoming weeks.
Apparently, the guy in the famous R. Kelly sex tape video? According to the defense, it’s not actually R. Kelly. The girl in the video? A prostitute. Who knew? The prosecution, somewhat predictably, disagrees, stating that “everything [in the clip] was written, directed and choreographed by Robert Kelly [including] the angle [and] the lighting.” Despite the protests of the defense, the video itself was shown to the jury following the opening arguments on a six-foot-wide screen, with the Chicago Sun-Times reporting that R. “wore a deep frown, with two dark furrows between his eyebrows, occasionally putting his finger to his lips and resting his head on his left hand while the tape played.”
The tape itself will obviously be the focus point of the trial, especially considering the woman alleged to be Kelly’s partner in the video will not be testifying. To my personal delight, Sun-Times rock critic Jim DeRogatis has been subpoenaed, which should make for a fascinating recap in the paper the following day.
Is the wood-paneled room seen in the video Kelly’s former basement? Will the absence of a tell-tale back mole on the tape turn the tide for the defense? Will DeRogatis drop a quick review of the new Fleet Foxes disc into his testimony? There are so many questions left unanswered.
R Kelly opening arguments start; juror dismissed [Chicago Sun-Times]