R. Kelly's former lawyer, who headed the singer's successful defense against child pornography charges in 2008, said the embattled R&B star was "guilty as hell" in that case, according to a report.
Attorney Ed Genson, now in his late 70s and facing a diagnosis of terminal cancer, spoke with the Chicago Sun-Times about the case.
"I’ve been a lawyer 54 years," Genson told the Sun-Times. "Ninety-nine percent criminal cases. I’ve represented entertainers, represented people connected to organized crime, represented professional criminals. I’ve represented guilty people, I represent innocent people."
"I can say whatever I want, but we’ve got to do it fast,” he continued, according to the Sun-Times. "It would be nice to get it down so somebody knows besides me."
As far as R. Kelly is concerned, Genson told the Sun-Times that he "was guilty as hell," adding, "I don’t think he’s done anything inappropriate for years. I’ll tell you a secret: I had him go to a doctor to get shots, libido-killing shots. That’s why he didn’t get arrested for anything else."
Genson also claimed that he pushed Kelly to change the lyrics to his hit song "Ignition," according to the Sun-Times.
"I was vetting his records. I listened to them, which ones would make a judge mad," Genson told the Sun-Times, saying he was listening to the song and asked Kelly, "Are you crazy? This is all I need."
"It’s a song related to a guy driving around in a car with his girlfriend. It was originally a high school instructor in a class teaching people how to drive a car. I changed the words," Genson said, according to the Sun-Times.
Kelly's current attorney Stephen Greenberg said in an emailed statement that Genson is "very ill and has been in and out of the hospital."
"When I asked him about the comments he told me that he has no recollection of the conversation and he would never have said that because it would be completely improper, and wrong," Greenberg said.
Genson did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.
Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, with indictments indicating up to four victims, in Cook County on Feb. 22. He spent that weekend in jail before a suburban woman who identified herself as a friend posted his $100,000 bond, but Kelly was taken back into custody on March 6 after he failed to pay more than $160,000 in owed child support.
The singer gave an explosive interview with CBS that aired the same day he was taken back into custody, claiming he "didn't do this stuff" and is fighting for his life. Kelly grew emotional at times, yelling at CBS' Gayle King and crying as he denied allegations that he had sexually abused underage girls.
When asked if he has held women against their will, Kelly replied, "That's stupid!"
"Use your common sense. Forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me," Kelly said. "Hate me if you want to, love me if you want. But just use your common sense. How stupid would it be for me, with my crazy past and what I've been through — oh right now I just think I need to be a monster, and hold girls against their will, chain them up in my basement, and don't let them eat, and don't let them out."
His publicist Darnell Johnson said Thursday that Kelly wasn't expecting to be taken back into custody the day before, and that the singer is now trying to raise the money to pay the child support.
"R. Kelly has had a lot of issues with finances and so right now, with everything going on in his life, child support, he can't get booked, he can't go out on tour, he can't do anything," Johnson said. "His bad management throughout the years has hurt him, so he is strapped for cash."
Johnson also said it was his advice for Kelly to grant the interview, saying, "Every single person who has not talked, they are in prison."
"So if he didn’t talk, they would say, 'Why didn’t he say something?' He did talk. He wanted to do it," Johnson added.