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‘Complete fabrication’: R. Kelly’s attorney denies abuse allegations in documentary

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 An attorney for R. Kelly on Friday called a new documentary series about the R&B singer a “for-profit hit piece,” and said the latest accusations of abuse by the Grammy-winning musician were a “complete fabrication.”

The six-hour documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired earlier this month on U.S. cable channel Lifetime, includes allegations from multiple women who accuse Kelly of sexual misconduct, sometimes with minors.

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Kelly, 52, the Chicago singer and record producer best known for his hit song “I Believe I Can Fly,” has for years denied accusations of abuse, including those made in the new documentary.

Steve Greenberg, an attorney for Kelly, said in an interview on Friday that there was no evidence to support the accusations contained in the documentary, calling it a “for-profit hit piece full of falsities, full of mistakes.”

The Lifetime series featured interviews with several women making on-camera allegations of sexual, mental and physical abuse by Kelly, as well as interviews with some of his former managers and producers.

The latest accusations echo similar ones against the singer dating back 25 years. After the documentary aired, Chicago’s top prosecutor called on potential victims and witnesses to come forward.

“We cannot seek justice without you,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said this week at a news conference.

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According to media reports, prosecutors in Georgia have contacted an attorney for an Atlanta-area couple who appeared in the documentary and accuse Kelly of brainwashing their daughter.

Reuters was unable independently to verify the accusations in the documentary and could not immediately reach prosecutors for comment. In 2008, the singer was tried and acquitted on child pornography charges in Chicago.

“There’s women saying things, which is of course their prerogative, but there is no evidence that any of it happened,” Greenberg said of the documentary.

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Kannie Yu LaPack, a spokeswoman for Lifetime, said: “The women’s stories speak for themselves.”

Lifetime is part of A&E Networks, which is a joint venture between Hearst Communications and Walt Disney Co.

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The series has been a hit for the network, which said the documentary’s Jan. 3 premiere attracted 1.9 million viewers and the network’s biggest audience in two years among adults 25 to 54 and other age groups.

After the documentary aired, singer Lady Gaga vowed to remove a duet she recorded with Kelly from streaming services and never collaborate with him again.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Daniel Wallis

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‘A coward and a commander’: New Lincoln Project ad contrasts Trump with James Mattis

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On Friday, the conservative anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project released a new attack ad against President Donald Trump — this time using the criticism of his former Defense Secretary James Mattis, and comparing and contrasting their leadership ability.

"This is the story of a coward and a commander," said the ad's narrator. "The coward Trump dodged the draft. Jim Mattis led American troops for forty years. While a frightened Trump hides from protesters in a deep bunker firing off tweets, Jim Mattis does what he's always done: Leads. While Donald Trump angrily attacks, General Mattis' words deserve to be heard by every American."

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NFL Commissioner Goodell apologizes for league’s indifference to players’ protests against racism

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On Friday, CNN reported that National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is acknowledging his organization turned a blind eye when his athletes took a knee to protest racism and police violence, and issued a formal apology.

"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," Goodell said in a newly released Instagram video. "It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country. First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all the families who have endured police brutality."

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Earth Has Hottest May on Record

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"This is unquestionably an alarming sign."

The Earth just experienced its hottest May on record, scientists said Friday—just a day after it was announced that atmospheric CO2 levels hit a new high.

Scientists at Europe's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) announced the temperature record Friday. The agency said that globally, last month 0.63°C warmer than the 1981-2020 average for May. That tops the previous warmest May, which occurred in 2016, by 0.05°C.

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