R. Kelly

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

R. Kelly stepped it up and danced. Now his self-proclaimed moves mentor wants the R&B star to step it up and pay.

The beleaguered singer, who is back in Chicago court today for the closing arguments in his child-pornography trial, remains dogged by another lawsuit, this time by a former employee who claims bequeathing his dance moves to Kelly made the singer a success.

Make that, a success with profits in need of sharing.

The suit was refiled in Cook Circuit Court yesterday, after the original complaint failed to fly in federal court. In his revamped suit, Henry Vaughn claims he inspired the "Trapped in the Closet" crooner to engage in the "stepping" moves that are now a signature trademark of Kelly's performances. He is demanding, in return, a cut of the star's bank account.

Vaughn, who says his nickname is "Uncle Henry Love," claims Kelly himself acknowledged—orally rather than financially—that Vaughn taught his feet everything they know, even getting a name check in the dedication to "Step in the Name of Love."

Per the suit, Kelly thanks "Uncle Life, Uncle Love, the stepping twins" in the lyrics, a reference, Vaughn says, to him and his twin brother.

The in-tune thanks isn't quite the compensation Vaughn had in mind, though. He claims in his lawsuit that he and Kelly made a "verbal contract" back in 2001 to share in the proceeds of any songs that featured his steps.

It could potentially make for no small payout, as Vaughn claims it was he who encouraged Kelly, by both teaching him moves and filling him in on the dance culture, to use the technique in a bid to appeal to a "more mature" audience in the wake of the child-porn allegations first being leveled against him.

While Kelly himself has bigger legal fish to fry at this point in time, his spokesman Allan Mayer has spoken out on the suit.

He told the Chicago Sun-Times that Vaughn was nothing more than a "disgruntled former employee" whom Kelly once fired. He also told the paper that the dance man was simply attempting to "extort money" from the singer and labeled the lawsuit "ridiculous."

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