R. Kelly is preparing to face sexual racketeering charges this August and his lawyers are getting questions ready for potential jurors for his first trial in Brooklyn.
The Chicago-bred singer is facing a litany of charges, including bribery, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, transportation of minors, violation of the Mann Act, engaging in illegal sexual activity, illegal coercion, and enticement of individuals, and forced labor.
One of his lawyers, Michael Leonard, just submitted a list of questions to Judge Ann Donnelly, which will be sent out to potential jurors on July 26.
Potential jurors will have to answer several personal questions, as the singer tries to find the most favorable pool of anonymous jurors. AllHipHop.com obtained a list of questions, and potential jurors are warned that they will be asked some really personal questions:
“Although some of the questions may appear to be of a personal nature, please understand that these questions will help the parties and the Court select a fair and impartial jury,” the questionnaire reads.
R. Kelly’s team wants to know if any of the potential jurors have ever contracted an STD, since the singer is accused of intentionally giving one of his alleged victims herpes.
“The charges in this case involve allegations regarding unintentional exposure to one or more sexually transmitted diseases…have you, a family member, or close friend, ever contracted or been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease? Please explain who (but not by name), and indicate how this impacted you?’ reads one question.
Another question reads: “Have you or a friend or family member ever been accused of, or investigated for, or been the involved in a charge or litigation regarding sexual harassment? Please explain the nature of the
allegations, the approximate date(s), and the outcome; and what, if any, effect this experience has had on you.”
R. Kelly’s lawyers are also worried about the impact of the rise of the “Me Too Movement,” which was launched by Tarana Burke in 2006 and popularized by actress/activist Alyssa Milano in 2017.
“Have you supported or participated in the ‘Me Too’ movement in any way?…please generally describe, including any funding provided, events attended, protests participated in, postings or blogs made or responded to, or any other forms of support,” reads another question posed by R. Kelly and his defense team.
The singer also wants to know jurors favorite TV shows, their favorite music groups, their favorite websites and if they have ever attended a “rock concert.”