Thursday 21 March 2019. R Kelly has asked an American judge to allow him to travel to Dubai to perform some shows there. He was forced to rescind his passport, of course, when he was bailed on sexual assault and abuse charges last month.
The musician says that he has struggled to find work performing in the US since his recent arrest. Shows elsewhere in the world have also been cancelled. However, he now hopes to perform five concerts in Dubai next month, if the Cook County Circuit Court will grant him permission to leave the country.
Few details of the shows are given in a new legal filing, but his attorneys say that they were arranged prior to his arrest. It states that he also plans to meet members of the royal families in the United Arab Emirates.
“[Kelly] cannot work, and consequently cannot make a living if he is confined to Illinois, or even the United States”, says the court filing. “[He] needs to generate income”.
Kelly’s financial problems have been well documented. His attorney recently said that they were due to poor management, although the music star has also found it increasingly difficult to work in recent years, as accusations of abuse re-emerged and escalated.
The $100,000 required to secure his bail was paid by a woman who listed herself as “a friend” in court documents. When he was jailed again this month for failing to pay an outstanding child support bill of more than $160,000, this too was paid off by an anonymous benefactor.
While numerous women have come forward and accused Kelly of abuse in recent years, attention on these claims came to wider attention with the broadcast of documentary series ‘Surviving R Kelly’ earlier this year. In February, he was arrested and charged with ten counts of sexual assault against four women between 1998 and 2010. Three of the women were underage at the time of the alleged incidents.
Kelly denies all the accusations against him. If found guilty on the current charges he is facing, he could be sentenced to up to 70 years in prison. He is next due in court for a hearing on those charges tomorrow, at which point a ruling on allowing him to travel to the Middle East could be made.