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R Kelly’s lawyer admits cops not interested in album leak probe

R Kelly’s lawyer says there is not much “appetite” from police to investigate the leak of an album containing new tracks by the sex predator.

Attorney Jennifer Bonjean told The Washington Post that the 13-track record, titled ‘I Admit’, was an “unauthorised” release of stolen music and contains “music of Mr Kelly’s that is in the hands of people who should not have it”.

The songs, all recorded before Kelly’s imprisonment, appeared on streamers, including Apple Music and Spotify, on Friday but were removed within hours.

Bonjean also told the Post Kelly’s master recordings were stolen around the time of his arrest on sex crime charges in February 2019, potentially via recording equipment or a hard drive.

The publication said she declined to identify potential culprits.

She told the Post: “People have stolen his music before, so this has happened, but usually, it shows up on YouTube or it’s usually, like, a track.

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“It was unusual because it was streaming on Spotify and Apple. We still don’t know why they started streaming it.”

Bonjean added she had informed Kelly of the leak on Friday at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Chicago.

She said: “His criminal cases are first and foremost. But yes, this has always been on our minds, and it’s very difficult to figure out who has (the music.)

“It’s a matter of how do you go about getting it back?”

Bonjean added there is “not much of an appetite on the part of law enforcement to do anything with it”, but said: “It’s not (Kelly’s) primary focus, but it is something that needs to be prioritized at some point and we’re trying to put together a team to get to the bottom of it.”

The Post added representatives for Apple Music and Spotify did not respond to requests for comment.

But a Spotify spokesperson told Variety: “This content has been removed from the platform at the request of the distributor.”

Billboard and Variety reported the album was released by the Real Talk Entertainment label and uploaded through Ingrooves, a Universal Music Group distributor that both outlets said is now cutting ties with Real Talk.

The songs were said to have been released via a Real Talk sub-label called Legacy Recordings, which has the same name as a Sony Music label.

A representative for Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings confirmed to the Post that it did not release the songs.

Kelly is serving a 30-year prison sentence after being found guilty of multiple sexual misconduct charges last year in New York and is awaiting trial in Illinois and other jurisdictions.

The ‘I Admit’ album title comes from a 19-minute song the ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer, 55, released in July 2018, in which he essentially denies the long-standing sexual-misconduct allegations against him.

It is a collection of previously released and unreleased material, mainly from the later years of Kelly’s recording career.

But several of the unreleased tracks have been shared online for up to 15 years.

In ‘I Admit It’, Kelly admits he “f***** a couple of fans” and slams his victims’ stories of being imprisoned and starved, singing: “They’re brainwashed, really? Kidnapped, really? Can’t eat, really? Real talk, that s*** sound silly.”

Kelly’s victims have said he used his power and fame to manipulate and intimidate them before luring them into a harem-like set-up.

Some described not being allowed to use their phones and being forced to stay awake for days at the request of Kelly and his team.

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