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R. Kelly must stay away from Jackson

Judge gives R&B star permission to attend Grammys
/ Source: The Associated Press

R. Kelly won’t be mingling with Michael Jackson during next month’s Grammy festivities: A judge has ordered the R&B star, who is awaiting trial on child pornography charges, to stay away from the King of Pop, himself facing child molestation charges, when Kelly attends the awards.

The Chicago-based Kelly has produced two songs for Jackson: the 1995 hit “You Are Not Alone” and last fall’s “One More Chance.” Kelly is nominated for two Grammys at the Feb. 8 ceremony and had to get a judge’s permission to attend the Los Angeles event; Jackson is not up for any awards and there are no indications that he even plans to attend the ceremony.

Prosecutors and Kelly’s lawyers said they never raised the issue of a meeting between Jackson and Kelly during a hearing this week about Kelly’s travel. Cook County Circuit Judge Vincent Gaughan made the edict on his own, they said. The judge was at a funeral Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.

Kelly lawyer Edward Genson said Monday’s ruling, first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday, was not a problem.

“What’s the difference if someone makes an order not to see someone he didn’t want to see in the first place?” Genson asked.

Kelly, already a Grammy winner, is nominated for best contemporary R&B album for his double-platinum album “Chocolate Factory” and best male R&B performance.

Kelly was arrested in June 2002 after a videotape surfaced that allegedly showed him having sex with an underage girl. He has denied the charges alleged in a 21-count indictment.

Jackson has pleaded innocent to seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent, reportedly wine. He was arrested in November.

Kelly, who remains free on bond, has received Gaughan’s permission to travel before. He has to be back in Chicago from his latest trip on Feb. 18.