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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 10:21 GMT
R Kelly 'booted off' Jay-Z tour
Jay-Z (left) and R Kelly were in the middle of their tour
Jay-Z (left) and R Kelly were in the middle of their tour
R&B singer R Kelly has been booted off a tour with Jay-Z, a day after claiming he was attacked with pepper spray by a member of the rapper's entourage.

R Kelly alleged he had been sprayed by a member of Jay-Z's entourage during a performance in New York.

But Jay-Z's publicist has denied that the rapper or any of his associates were involved.

Jay-Z and R Kelly were in the midst of the 40-city Best of Both Worlds tour, scheduled to run until 28 November.

[Jay-Z] did not attack R Kelly in any way, shape or form
Jana Fleishman, publicist

It is not known if Jay-Z will continue the tour - which is aimed at promoting their latest joint album - as a solo act.

Jeff Sharp, a contractor with tour promoter Atlanta World Wide Touring, confirmed that Kelly had been removed from the tour, but would not comment on the reason.

In a statement, R Kelly said: "The fans deserve better than this.

"I'd like the show to go on. It's really disappointing that Jay-Z and the promoter don't."

Sharp said Jay-Z would perform shows planned for Saturday and Monday at Madison Square Garden.

But he added that he was unsure whether the rapper would finish the tour as a solo act, or if it was cancelled.

Hospital treatment

Kelly's publicist, Allan Mayer, said the pepper spray incident occurred during Friday's show when Kelly walked on stage and said he saw two people in the audience waving guns.

He stopped performing while arena security employees searched for weapons.

Kelly continued his act after security told him it was safe to go on, but as the singer made his way back on stage he was allegedly sprayed in the face by a member of Jay-Z's entourage.

Kelly and two of his bodyguards were treated at St Vincent's Hospital.

"I'm pretty sure Jay didn't realize what was going on," Mayer added.

Legal advice

Jana Fleishman, publicist for Jay-Z, said the rapper's entourage knew nothing about the incident because it occurred while Jay-Z was performing.

"[Jay-Z] did not attack R Kelly in any way, shape or form," Fleishman said.

Mayer said Kelly's lawyers were filing a criminal complaint against the man who allegedly sprayed him and were also considering legal action over the decision to remove the singer from the remaining tour dates.

"We're considering all possible ways of protecting [Kelly's] interests," he said.




SEE ALSO:
R Kelly triumphs at R'n'B awards
07 Aug 04  |  Entertainment
Rapper Jay-Z tops MTV nominations
27 Jul 04  |  Entertainment


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