CHICAGO (CBS) — The City of Chicago is fighting to get into R. Kelly’s Near West Side music studio.
An anonymous 311 call has city building inspectors trying to investigate the West Town structure, but tenants denied them entry.
Thursday the city sought a court order to enter the building for an inspection, charging a recording studio and kitchen were constructed without proper plans and permits. Fines could approach $8,000 a day.
“The complaint we received is that there were people living in the property, and it’s zoned for commercial purposes only. So there shouldn’t be anyone living there,” Kimberly Roberts of the Chicago Law Department said.
Social media posts show R. Kelly singing to the crowd at V75, a club on the South Side, Wednesday night for his birthday celebrations. This seems to boldly fly in the face of accusations of illegal sexual conduct.
Chicago police confirm they were called to the address and made contact with the singer, but no action was taken.
Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg called the accusations against Kelly “absurd.”
“People have been making things up. People have been exaggerating,” Greenberg said.
“I haven’t heard from a police department. I haven’t heard from a prosecutor’s office. I have never heard from an attorney of a victim,” Greenberg said.
The new documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” charges the R & B superstar is at the center of a sex cult. Numerous women, some underage, say they were abused by Kelly.
In “Surviving R. Kelly,” parents of one woman are seen trying to locate their daughter at the recording studio at the center of the complaints, afraid she’s unwillingly held there.
It prompted the Cook County State’s Attorney Tuesday to urge victims to connect with her office. Greenberg says the outreach is over-reaching.
“The series is trash TV,” he said.
The city is expected to hear from a judge at 11 a.m. Friday about inspectors being allowed to go inside the studio and conduct their inspection.
The landlords for the building say R. Kelly is tens of thousands of dollars behind in his rent, and they are seeking an eviction.