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R. Kelly Internet rumors stir up celebrity media, Olympia Fields

Police: No crime, matter is closed

July 2, 2009

The Internet blew up Wednesday morning with rumors that R. Kelly's home had been raided on suspicion of another possible sex scandal involving an underage partner.

But in Olympia Fields, where the R&B singer lives in a home behind an impressive wrought iron gate, police were quick to shut down the rumors as they were barraged with phone calls from media outlets.

"(We) were informed of a possible criminal matter. We investigated the issues, found there to be no crime, and the matters have been closed," Chief Jeff Chudwin said.

He refused to answer any questions about the complaint - when it had been filed or why it was deemed unsubstantiated - saying, "We do not comment on noncriminal matters."

A Web gossip site reported Wednesday morning that a day before Kelly left for his tour in South Africa last month, police searched his house looking for a then-16-year-old girl rumored to be staying there. The site also claimed, citing an anonymous source "close to R. Kelly," that police were "tenaciously pursuing the case ... still gathering evidence, which includes signed affidavits from several witnesses from within R. Kelly's circle, who can attest to the girl spending consecutive nights at his home prior to the date of her (17th) birthday."

Representatives for Kelly, known for hits "I Believe I Can Fly," "Ignition," and a hip-hopera called, "Trapped in the Closet," also denied the rumors, calling the report "wildly exaggerated and inaccurate."

"No police ever showed up at Kelly's house with a search warrant nor was his house ever searched," the Kelly camp said in a statement. "It is also not true ... that any such girl ever stayed overnight in Kelly's house or that she had been there but left shortly before some mythical police search."

No warrant has been executed on Kelly's home in the last three weeks, according to public records.

Kelly was acquitted last year on multiple counts of child pornography. He was accused of videotaping sex acts between 1998 and 2000 with a girl, his goddaughter, who prosecutors said was a minor. The tapes were played at his 2008 trial; the girl refused to testify.

Lauren FitzPatrick can be reached at lfitzpatrick@southtownstar.com or (708) 802-8832.