Lawyers for two-time Grammy winner R. Kelly (full name: Robert Kelly) said yesterday (April 29) they will fight a third civil lawsuit that claims the R&B star had sex with an underage girl. The la

Lawyers for two-time Grammy winner R. Kelly (full name: Robert Kelly) said yesterday (April 29) they will fight a third civil lawsuit that claims the R&B star had sex with an underage girl. The lawyers said they have settled two previous civil suits that also claimed the singer had sex with teenagers but that "the cash machine is closed."

"R. Kelly is no angel, but he is no monster, either," attorney Gerry Margolis said. "This latest suit is a collection of half-truths, distortions, and outright lies that we intend to fight and beat." Lawyers would not disclose the settlement amounts for lawsuits filed in 1997 and 2001 against the platinum-selling R&B artist. Kelly, 33, has denied any wrongdoing, Margolis said.

"In the past, we've taken the high road with regard to a series of terrible allegations made against Robert," Margolis said. "Rather than going to court to defend him against these charges -- a process that would have degraded everyone concerned -- we decided to settle the cases quietly."

Margolis said the lawsuit filed yesterday against Kelly, who is from Chicago, asks for more than $50,000. The suit alleges Kelly had sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl. Sex with someone under 17 is a crime in Illinois. "People seem to have gotten the idea that R. Kelly is some sort of walking ATM machine they can hit up for cash simply by threatening to sue him," Margolis said.

Attorney Susan Loggans, who represents the women in all three lawsuits, said she was glad Kelly decided to fight the latest accusation. "I think every person has a right to have a day in court," said Loggans. "[Kelly's lawyers] previously made a statement that R. Kelly isn't an ATM, and I think it's sad that that's how he looks at it."

As previously reported, Kelly has been facing scrutiny over allegations that he appears in a sexually explicit videotape with a minor, which police say is being sold illegally across the country and on the Internet. Lawyers for Kelly have denied that he is on the tape.


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