catch it wednesday in the weekender…
On Friday, R. Kelly joined the ranks of Michael Jackson, Phil Spector, and O.J. Simpson. Just as those high profile celebrities prosecuted before him, Kelly escaped with a “not guilty” verdict from a jury of his peers. The R&B crooner walked on all 14 charges against him of child pornography, which stemmed from a tape released in 2002 in which Kelly allegedly appeared to have sex with a minor.
“His lawyer actually said that he was crying like a baby,” TMZ’s Michael Hundgen told me later in the day on The Ralphie Radio Show. TMZ also reported that five jurors spoke after the trial and said they thought it was in fact Kelly in the film, but that “there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute.”
A major point of contention in the trial was the identity of the male in the aforementioned video. The female that prosecutors believed was on film would not cooperate with the trial, throwing the burden on the state to prove that the singer and an underage girl had sex in the film shown in court.
The initial indictments were handed down in Chicago back in June 2002. These charges were demoted from having sex with a minor to soliciting a minor for child pornography.
Since Kelly’s trials and tribulations became public, the singer’s popularity actually rose. He released five albums from June 2002 to 2008 – selling 11 million copies. Kelly also headlined a number of tours.
While the jokes and parodies will linger through radio, television, and YouTube – the fact remains that R. Kelly is now a free and innocent citizen – stepping in the name of love, or whatever else for that matter, without special stipulations from a judge.
MAYER MAKES A FUNNY
John Mayer loves cracking jokes with and on the media and paparazzi. Leaving a pharmacy last Thursday, the singer/guitarist carried a white package with writing under his arm. Photographers zoomed in on the scribble, which read, “experimental human growth hormone – 2x daily” with some type of signature or initial underneath.
Surely Mayer isn’t taking the same drug banned in baseball and used by such celebrities as Sylvester Stallone. Of course, maybe John is just trying to round Jennifer Aniston’s bases.
Speaking of the “Say” singer and America’s past time, Sports Illustrated recently weighed in on Mayer’s “resume” compared to that of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Between the two of them, the superstars have dated 11 women on Maxim’s 2008 Hot 100 list. The array of women is diverse – from Mariah Carey to Jessica Simpson, Gabrielle Union and Cameron Diaz.
Being a diehard Yankees fan, I might be a bit partial on even the most frivolous, non-baseball related topics. But really, who’s topping Jeter’s triple play of Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, and Jessica Alba?
Being born and raised in Western New York, I’d be remiss to not mention the passing of Tim Russert in this column. Russert became Buffalo’s first son for never forgetting his roots and embodying the blue collar work ethic he learned from his father, “Big Russ.” But the Meet the Press moderator also represented everything this country stands for – a dillgent worker who did his homework; a model father, son, and husband; and a man with endless heart and compassion for those around him.
Russert died while at work Friday. The NBC News Washington Bureau Chief just returned from Italy where his family celebrated his son Luke’s graduation from Boston College. Tim Russert was 58.