CHICAGO (CBS) — Exactly one week after ordering R. Kelly jailed for failing to pay child support, a Cook County judge refused to reduce the singer’s monthly payments to his ex-wife, according to his attorneys.
Kelly spent three nights in Cook County Jail last week, after failing to comply with a court order to pay more than $161,000 in overdue child support. He was released on Saturday after friends and family paid the money for him, and on Wednesday he sought to have those $21,000 monthly child support payments reduced, because he is not working.
“If you can’t play a show, if you can’t go out on tour, if they’re not streaming your music anymore, obviously you’re going to have financial problems. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out,” attorney Steve Greenberg said.
Kelly’s publicist, Darryll Johnson, said Kelly has no assets to sell, not even his home at Trump Tower, because he rents the condo, and paid rent in advance several years ago. Johnson said he and Kelly’s attorneys are representing him for free.
Wednesday’s hearing on the child support payments was sealed to the public, but Kelly’s attorneys confirmed afterward that there would be no change in those payments, and the next hearing has been scheduled for May 8.
Johnson said Kelly is still recording music, even though he was dropped by his record label in January.
“He’s recording every day. He has a studio in his home, so he’s always recording,” Johnson said. “All he does is sing; sing and record all day, and when he’s not doing that, he’s shooting basketball.”
Johnson said the required child support payments don’t make sense, because Kelly’s two oldest children are 20 and 21, so they are adults. His youngest child is 17, and will soon turn 18.
“None of it makes sense,” Johnson said.
Under terms of his 2009 divorce, Kelly must pay approximately $21,000 a month in child support, but he stopped making the required payments last spring. Those bills piled up to more than $190,000 and a judge had ordered him to pay the bulk of it, more than $161,000 by last Wednesday.
However, when Kelly couldn’t come up with that money last Wednesday, a judge ordered him jailed until he paid the $161,000. Kelly was held at Cook County Jail until Saturday, when someone paid that money for him.
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.
On Wednesday, Kelly’s publicist revealed that the singer’s friends and family pooled together the money needed to get Kelly out of jail.
It was Kelly’s second stint in jail in recent weeks. He also spent three nights in jail after he was indicted on Feb. 22 on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
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.
Johnson said he is trying to arrange a meeting between the two women who live with Kelly in Chicago — Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary — and their parents, but has been unable to reach an agreement on where to meet. Their parents have said they haven’t seen their daughters in two years, and believe Kelly has brainwashed them into staying with him. However, both women said they want to be with Kelly, and are both in love with him.
The Clarys live in Florida, and the Savages live in Georgia, but Johnson said their daughters are not willing to leave Chicago.
“I talked to both young ladies, personally myself,” Johnson said. “They both said they would not leave Chicago. They’re not leaving Chicago, they’re going to stay here. The meeting’s going to take place, but if it’s going to happen, it’s got to happen here,”
Meantime, Johnson said Chicago police visited Kelly’s home at Trump Tower on Tuesday, because they had received a report that four women were in the apartment as a result of human trafficking, and another report that Kelly had attempted suicide.
“Neither were true. The police came. They wanted to come in. We did not let them in. They did their report, and they left. That’s pretty much it,” Johnson said.
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 having sex with 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 having sex with an underage 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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