R. Kelly leaving court in Chicago following a hearing on June 26, 2019.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty)

Lawyers for accused pedophile Robert “R.” Kelly say the embattled R&B singer’s troubles are basically the result of groupie love gone wrong.

Kelly, 52, faces federal charges in Chicago and New York, including allegations that he ran a sex trafficking ring targeting women and girls, produced child pornography, and paid off a girl and her family who’d accused him of rape.

In a filing on Wednesday, ahead of Kelly’s Friday arraignment in New York on federal racketeering charges involving alleged sex trafficking, Kelly lawyer Douglas Anton characterized Kelly’s accusers as “disgruntled groupies,” according to the New York Daily News.

“If this was the ‘pattern’ or ‘enterprise’ the government seeks to make it out to be, [it] is five disgruntled groupies, not all of which are alleged to be underage, who now show groupie remorse so many years later,” Anton wrote, Reuters reports.

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Federal prosecutors in New York charge that Kelly trafficked five female victims—including charges he engaged in sexual activity with three girls under the age of 18, according to the News. They also accuse Kelly of “hiding the fact that he had a sexually transmitted disease, producing child pornography and asking his alleged victims to call him ‘Daddy,’” the News reports.

Anton in his filing on Kelly’s behalf scoffed at the government’s accusations, basically saying that the alleged victims asked for it.

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According to the News, Anton said they “‘fought’ and ‘pined’ to be with the Grammy winner during luxury ‘fan experiences’ that often included free hotel rooms and airfare.”

In addition, per Reuters:

Anton said in Wednesday’s filing that the charge was “an absurdity,” and that the women with whom Kelly had sex were “dying to be with him.”

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Prosecutors have said Kelly set strict rules for his sexual partners, requiring them to get his permission to eat or go to the bathroom.

Anton said these rules were intended for their protection, to ensure “the safest, most enjoyable fan experience.”

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Kelly’s lawyers made the filing in the hope that the judge will grant Kelly bail Friday—even though it wouldn’t free him as a court in Chicago has denied bail in the charges he faces there.

Legal experts called the Kelly legal team’s take “unusual,” Reuters reports.

“Whether he intended to or not, he’s now given the prosecution a preview of what his defense may be,” lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents three of the alleged New York victims, told Reuters. “If that’s all he’s got, I think he’s going to have major challenges in this case.”