The Chicago Tribune reported on June 2 that Mike Roman, a Chicago criminal-defense attorney who moonlights in a rock band, had been kicked out of the courtroom where R. Kelly is on trial. Roman (left) apparently showed up during a break and started pestering Kelly to listen to his band's demo CD.
Surprisingly, R. Kelly was not interested in the album, a compilation of Latin rock tunes called "Cha Cha Time."
Or, he may have been interested, but felt that he was precluded from accepting gifts or talking to anyone under a gag order imposed by the trial judge. That's what he told Roman, anyway. But Roman persisted, asking if he could at least leave the CD with Kelly. "Please," said the rap magnate and alleged child pornographer. "You have to leave me alone." At that point, others in the courtroom noticed the conversation and called over the courtroom deputies.
Roman was briefly detained while deputies discussed the matter with the judge. "I'm a lawyer and I'm a musician," Roman reportedly protested. "What's wrong with that?" Yes, what have things come to when one artist cannot offer another his demo CD without being assaulted by thugs? When will America's lawyer-musicians finally be free from this kind of persecution?
Not this week, anyway. After some discussion, Judge Vincent Gaughan ordered deputies to escort Roman out of the building. On the way out, he tried to sell the CD to one of Kelly's lawyers for $15. No deal.