R. Kelly

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

It's not often the music critic is the one getting the bad reviews.

But that was the case today as the judge in R. Kelly's child pornography trial lashed out at Jim DeRogatis, the Chicago Sun-Times reporter who anonymously received the sexually explicit videotape allegedly showing the R&B singer having sex with a minor, touching off this legal imbroglio.

Kelly's camp subpoenaed DeRogatis to testify about how he came to obtain the tape in 2002. The singer's attorneys want to know whether DeRogatis altered the video before turning it over to police.

When DeRogatis failed to turned turn up this morning, a fuming Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan initially threatened to issue an arrest warrant for the critic.

Sources told the Chicago Tribune, however, that the journalist called the court and said he wouldn't be coming because the subpoena had not properly been served.

That didn't sit well with the judge, who ordered DeRogatis to court regardless and dismissed arguments by Chicago Sun-Times lawyer Damon Dunn that DeRogatis didn't have to appear because he's protected by the First Amendment.

Gaughan ruled yesterday that he has no intention of allowing Kelly's legal team to quiz the journalist on his sources or allow any of his news-gathering notes to be subpoenaed. But the judge would let them ask DeRogatis how he handled the video before giving it to authorities.

The Sun-Times argues that state law prevents DeRogatis from testifying while the newspaper appeals Gaughan's decision compelling the critic to the stand.

But the judge sniffed at that reasoning, stating that the newspaper attorneys filed their notice of appeal in the wrong court.

"You're protecting something that nobody is after," Gaughan said, reiterating that the line of questioning won't be about journalistic practices.

By the end of the session, the judge decided against issuing an arrest warrant.

"I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt," Gaughan said.

Instead, he ordered DeRogatis to show up on Wednesday as a "material witness." With the trial entering its fourth week, the judge said he would force DeRogatis to testify barring a last-minute overruling by an appeals court.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.