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R. Kelly: Judge Allows Cameras in Courtroom for Sex Abuse Trial

Two alleged victims protest judge’s ruling: “No interest in being a media spectacle”

Music artist R. Kelly (C) arrives at the Circuit Court of Cook County, Domestic Relations Division on March 6, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. - Kelly denied allegations he sexually abused women and girls in his first public comments since being indicted last month. "I didn't do this stuff. This not me," Kelly told "CBS This Morning", saying he was "fighting" for his life in an interview to air Wednesday. Excerpts were released Tuesday. (Photo by JOSHUA LOTT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

The judge overseeing the sex abuse charges against R. Kelly ruled Friday that cameras will be allowed in the courthouse during the trial.

JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images

The judge overseeing the sex abuse charges against R. Kelly ruled Friday that cameras will be allowed in the courthouse during the trial, despite objections from two of Kelly’s alleged victims.

“The coverage is allowed for March 22 [the next hearing] and all subsequent proceedings,” Judge Lawrence Flood ruled Friday, allowing for video and audio recording as well as still photographs.

Kelly, who was not at Friday’s hearing, did not protest the invitation of devices to document the trial. “Mr. Kelly wants everyone to know what is going on in an open and transparent process,” his attorney Steve Greenberg said, the Chicago Sun-Tribune reported. “People can form their own opinions about what they see, and they don’t have to rely on rumor and innuendo.”

However, two of the four women whose encounters with Kelly resulted in the sex abuse charges, initialed “H.W.” and “R.L.,” wrote letters to Flood asking that cameras not be permitted during the trial; both women, according to the charges against Kelly, were underage at the time of the sexual abuse.

“I have no interest in being a media spectacle,” H.W. wrote to Flood, adding that Kelly’s legal team had already “attempted to publicly shame” his alleged victims. However, the judge maintains the authority to stop recording on a witness-by-witness basis in order to protect identities.

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