CHICAGO (CBS) — Three days after he was jailed for failing to pay more than $161,000 in child support he owed to his ex-wife, embattled singer R. Kelly was released from custody Saturday after the child support was paid.
Kelly, 52, was released Cook County Jail just after noon.
It was not immediately clear what arrangements he had made regarding the child support payments.
A document first obtained exclusively by CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards did not state who paid the money for Kelly’s release, and a spokesperson for the jail said the person who put up the money wanted to remain anonymous.
Who paid $161,663.00 for R. Kelly to get out of jail — his owed child support? It’s a mystery. It’s “unusual” not to be stated in document I just obtained ⬇️ below. @cbschicago https://t.co/RR77CZxX0J pic.twitter.com/wzatuWtEnH
— Brad Edwards (@tvbrad) March 9, 2019
“I promise you we’re going to straighten all this stuff out,” Kelly said when he approached the crowd waiting outside the jail. “I love my fans.”
After Kelly walked out of the Cook County Jail, his attorney spoke in a press conference.
Attorney Steve Greenberg said it is “open season on R. Kelly” in regard to the backlash Kelly has received. However, Greenberg said Kelly is “not hiding.”
The attorney said he has not talked with Kelly about the Gayle King interview on CBS News but supports his decision.
“I think that Mr. Kelly should be able to speak out in any way Mr. Kelly wants,” Greenberg said.
When asked about Kelly’s potential investigations out of state, he said, “I have no idea what is going on in Detroit.”
BREAKING: Atty. for R. Kelly on his way to bond him out from Cook County’s grey bar motel. Kelly’s been clinked, this time, for unpaid child support. @cbschicago
— Brad Edwards (@tvbrad) March 9, 2019
The singer appeared before a judge at the Daley Center on Wednesday, hours after a court-ordered deadline to pay more than $161,000 in overdue child support. When he informed the judge he could pay only about a third of that amount, he was taken into custody until he could pay the full amount.
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Under terms of his 2009 divorce, Kelly must pay $20,000 a month in child support, but he stopped making the required payments last spring and owed more than $190,000. A judge had ordered him to pay the bulk of that by Wednesday morning.
Kelly’s four-day stint in the Cook County Jail was the second time he spent days in custody because of his troubled finances. After he turned himself in on Feb. 22 to face 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, he spent three nights in jail before he managed to post come up with the $100,000 he needed to post bail.
Records in Kelly’s divorce case have been sealed, but the information about his child support payments came to light during his bond hearing in the sexual abuse case.
An attorney for his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, would not elaborate on the case after Wednesday’s hearing in family court.
“Unfortunately none of us can speak on the matter,” she said. “The proceedings are sealed, and none of us can speak on anything that took place today.”
No one but involved parties was allowed in the courtroom.
The next hearing is scheduled for March 13.
The same day Kelly was taken into custody, “CBS This Morning” aired an exclusive interview with the singer, in which he angrily denied the sexual abuse charges against him.
At times yelling and crying, Kelly told King, “I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me. I am fighting for my f—–g life!”
Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, three of them underage girls. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all 10 counts.
While free on bond, Kelly has been ordered not to have any contact with any of the alleged victims, witnesses or anyone under the age of 18. He is due back in court on March 22.
The alleged abuse goes back 20 years, spanning from 1998 to 2010.
Meantime, Kelly is under investigation in Detroit for allegedly sexually abusing a teenage girl nearly two decades ago. CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards first broke the news that Detroit detectives are looking into allegations Kelly had sex with the girl when she was 13, at a Detroit hotel in 2001.
The alleged victim said she and Kelly also had sex at a Detroit recording studio a few weeks later. The woman, now 30, visited Kelly at his home in Atlanta for a period of four years, where she said the singer gave her herpes when she was 17 years old.
She no longer lives in Michigan, but detectives plan to fly her in for an interview.
The singer has faced intense scrutiny for more than a decade. It was reignited in January after the six-part Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” featured interviews with seven accusers and former members of his inner circle. They all said Kelly preys on vulnerable women and young girls.
In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in Cook County, tied to a videotape of him allegedly sexually abusing a teenage girl. It took six years from the time Kelly was charged with the offense to the end of the trial. It took the jury less than a day to deliberate.
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