R. Kelly Wants Sex Tape Copies Travel Plans Possibly Derailed

3/24/2019 10:23 AM PDT

R. Kelly Requests Sex Tape Copies, Travel Plans Possibly Derailed

EXCLUSIVE

3/24 -- R. Kelly's request to travel to Dubai looks shaky at best now -- 'cause the Dubai government is coming out strong against the singer, saying he has no business coming there ... at least as far as they're concerned. The Dubai Media Office issued a statement Sunday, denying R. Kelly's claims that he might need to fly there for potential gigs ... with the agency saying there were no planned concerts for R. Kelly that the government was aware of. 

The DMO also shot down claims by R. Kelly's legal team that he had plans to meet the sheikhdom's ruling Al Maktoum family ... calling BS and saying, "Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R. Kelly nor are there any venues that have been booked."

8:02 AM -- The hearing has wrapped up. Greenberg formally asked for a copy of the sex tapes but the judge did not rule on whether Kelly's team will get copies just yet. Greenberg added the sex tapes should be protected from public viewing. 

Also, Kelly's motion for permission to travel has been continued.

7:20 AM PT -- Kelly has just arrived to court. The hearing is now scheduled to start at 7:45 AM PT.

6:40 AM PT -- We will be live streaming inside R. Kelly's pretrial hearing in Cook County Courthouse. It's scheduled to start around 7 AM PT. 

R. Kelly and his legal team are demanding to get their hands and eyes on the alleged sex tapes that prompted the 10 counts of sexual abuse ... and they're hoping to walk out of court Friday with them.

Kelly's attorney, Steven Greenberg, tells TMZ ... prosecutors will begin handing over discovery materials during a court hearing Friday in Chicago. He says there's no guarantee what they'll get right off the bat -- could be police reports, case material from Kelly's 2008 trial but, obviously, the items they're most anxious to see are the 2 tapes Michael Avenatti turned over to Cook County prosecutors.

Greenberg says he hasn't seen the tapes -- which Avenatti claims show Kelly engaged in various sex acts with a 14-year-old girl -- so he can't really begin to mount a defense strategy. Once he does get them, a couple different things could happen.

He'll immediately order a full forensic analysis of the tapes ... if he and Kelly believe the tape does show the singer. If they don't think it's Kelly, Greenberg says he'll speed things up to trial. 

For now, it's a waiting game since Kelly's team has no idea what prosecutors will hand over.

Kelly might also ask the judge to let him travel to Dubai for work -- he had to surrender his passport when he got arrested. Sources close to the singer tell us he could potentially get a gig there, but doesn't have anything booked yet. 

Greenberg says he's not sure the judge will hear that request Friday, but it's on their "to do" list because -- make no mistake -- Kelly's desperate to make some cash.

Originally Published -- 3/22 12:50 AM PT