Monday 11 March 2019. R Kelly has been released from jail again after over $161,000 in unpaid child support was paid off on behalf of the musician by an anonymous benefactor.
Kelly was jailed last week, after he failed to make the already very overdue child support payment by a court ordered deadline. According to his publicist Darrell Johnson, Kelly had attended court offering to pay up to $60,000 and expected the judge to do a deal. However, given that the star was first ordered to hand over this money over a decade ago, the court came down harshly, saying that he would be jailed until the full amount was paid.
Johnson hinted last week that the musician and his team were hoping that a supporter would step in with the required funds, after his client’s bail on sexual assault charges was paid by a woman who listed herself on court documents as “a friend”. The person who handed over the latest significant sum of money to secure Kelly’s release asked not to be identified.
Speaking to reporters outside the court after the latest payment had been made, Kelly said: “Thanks for the order, guys”. No one seems quite sure what that meant. He also added: “I promise you, we’re going to straighten all this stuff out”.
Final time being called on the long-delayed child support payment came as Kelly’s legal woes started to mount up, as new criminal charges were filed relating to various allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against the musician. The new charges came in the wake of the recent screening of documentary series ‘Surviving R Kelly’.
In an interview on ‘CBS This Morning’ last week, Kelly accused his former wife of “destroying” his name by appearing in that documentary. That in turn, he argued, meant he was unable to pay off his old debts. He said: “How can I pay child support if my ex-wife is destroying my name and I can’t work?”
Kelly, of course, has been perfectly able to work for much of the time since he was first ordered to pay off the outstanding child support amount in monthly instalments back in 2009. He also said in the interview that he has “zero” relationship with his three children.
As for the ongoing criminal investigation into the abuse allegations, yesterday a new video allegedly showing Kelly abusing young girls was handed in to the police. The news was announced at a press conference in New York by attorney Gloria Allred and her client Gary Dennis, who found the VHS tape.
Dennis said that he had been clearing out a box of old tapes when he discovered what he initially thought to be a film of Kelly performing live. “To my shock and surprise, R Kelly appeared to be on the tape but not in concert”, he said. “Instead he was sexually abusing underaged African-American girls. I was disgusted and horrified when I saw that”.
Asked how the recording came to be in his possession, he said he did not know, but speculated that it had been given to him by a friend, because a sports game was also on the tape.
Kelly’s attorney Steven Greenberg denied that the man on the video is his client, saying that it is “now just open season” on the musician and all the claims made against him are false. He said that instead of investigating Kelly, the authorities should be looking into why Dennis had a video in his possession containing images of child abuse.
This is now the fourth video handed over to authorities reportedly showing Kelly abusing young girls. Another attorney, Michael Avenatti, has previously said the he has uncovered three videos of Kelly engaged in abuse during his own investigations. At least one of these, he has said, “leaves no question as to Mr Kelly’s guilt”.
Meanwhile, Detroit police last week said that they are now investigating claims by a woman that Kelly had sex with her when she was thirteen years old in 2001.
Kelly is already facing ten charges of aggravated sexual assault against four women – three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged incidents. If convicted of those charges, he faces a sentence of up to 70 years in prison. He denies all the allegations against him.