Attorney's musical overture hits sour note
A lawyer was booted from the Cook County Criminal Courts Building today after attempting to foist his own music CD on R. Kelly in the courtroom where his trial is taking place.

Attorney Mike Roman approached Kelly on Friday morning while the singer was sitting alone at the defense table. With his lawyers and the prosecutors meeting privately in the judge's chambers, the R&B superstar was left to fend off the man's overture.

Roman--a local criminal-defense lawyer who fronts the Latin rock band, Mike Roman and the Tellstars, in his spare time--offered Kelly a free copy of his CD "Cha Cha Time." Kelly, 41, is considered one of the music industry's most prolific songwriters and producers.

"No, thank you," Kelly said with a polite smile. "I'm not allowed to take anything."

Roman persisted, but Kelly continued to decline the CD.

"I'm not allowed to talk to anyone," said the singer, reminding Roman of the gag order imposed on him by trial Judge Vincent Gaughan.

Roman offered to just leave the disc, but Kelly asked him not to.

"Please," Kelly said quietly. "You have to leave me alone."

Other attorneys in the courtroom noticed the conversation and called deputies to assist Kelly. Roman was briefly detained, much to his displeasure.

"I'm a lawyer and I'm musician," Roman told the authorities. "What's wrong with that?"

Deputies held Roman in a courthouse anteroom while they discussed the matter with Gaughan. The judge later ordered officers to escort him from the building.

Roman cooperated with his removal--but not before trying to sell a "Cha Cha Time" CD to one of Kelly's defense attorneys for $15.

Roman would not comment after leaving the building. His band's Web site says the group will be playing Taste of Chicago this summer.

Stacy St. Clair

May 30, 2008 1:11 PM: Sun-Times music critic ordered to testify

Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis must testify at R. Kelly's child pornography trial, a judge ruled today.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan said DeRogatis--who provided the police with the sex tape at the heart of the case--is not protected by any reporter's privilege or the 1st Amendment because he is the first person known to have possessed the video.

The defense has the right to question him about what he may have done with the VHS cassette between the time he received it and the moment he handed it over to the authorities, according to the ruling.

The Sun-Times will appeal the decision, attorney Damon Dunn said.