CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County judge has agreed to unseal R. Kelly’s divorce case from now on, including child support issues, on the same day another judge vacated a default judgement against the singer in a separate sexual abuse lawsuit.
Records in Kelly’s divorce case have been sealed since 2013, meaning only Kelly, his ex-wife and their attorneys were allowed into hearings; but Domestic Relations Judge Lori Rosen ruled Wednesday the whole case would be unsealed moving forward. Past documents from the case will be unsealed in 21 days, but attorneys will have the opportunity to argue some documents dating back to 2006 should remain sealed, or be redacted to remove certain private information.
Later, at a hearing on child support payments, Kelly handed over a check for $62,499 in child support he owed his ex-wife, Andrea Lee Kelly.
Some allegations from Kelly’s ex-wife, that have remained a secret since 2013, were revealed.
In June of 2018, Andrea Kelly spoke publicly about how she had suffered abuse by R. Kelly during their marriage. She claims thats why R. Kelly stopped paying child support.
Outside court Wednesday, Andrea Kelly’s attorney Allison Motta addressed the media.
“All the sudden no more child support this is the financial abuse that not only she is suffering but woman all over,” Motta said.
Andrea Kelly also alleges that because the singer stopped the payments, their oldest daughter couldn’t afford tuition and had to drop out of college.
Kelly’s ex viewed today’s $62,000 payment as a long-overdue win for her family.
Earlier this year, R. Kelly spent three nights in jail, after he failed to pay more than $161,000 in overdue child support. He was released after friends and family paid the money for him.
But Kelly’s attorneys fiercely refuted the singer being called a “dead beat dad.”
“When money comes in he’s going to take care of his kids and we’ve had enough of the bashing of Robert Kelly as being a bad dad,” Attorney for R.Kelly, Lisa Damico said.
Under terms of his 2009 divorce, Kelly had been ordered to pay more than $20,000 a month in child support, but stopped making the required payments last year. He has been seeking to have those payments reduced, because he is not working. However, a judge has refused so far to modify his payments, according to Kelly’s attorneys.
Meantime, another Cook County judge has vacated a default judgement against Kelly in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against him by one of the four people Kelly is accused of assaulting in a separate criminal case. The woman’s lawsuit was filed in February, and Kelly failed to appear for hearings in the case, prompting Judge Moira Johnson to enter the default judgement last month.
Kelly’s attorneys later argued he failed to respond to the lawsuit because he was served a summons while in jail, and he didn’t understand it because he is illiterate. Johnson vacated her default judgement ruling on Wednesday, allowing the lawsuit to proceed to trial.
The woman, who says she was 16 when the abuse happened, filed the lawsuit for at least $50,000 in damages. She says she was 16 when R. Kelly saw her walking down the street and pulled his car over to speak with her on May 26, 1998. An R. Kelly associate then met with the girl’s family, and since the girl was “star struck,” she agreed to meet the singer.
The lawsuit states R. Kelly engaged in sexual intercourse and oral sex with the minor and that Kelly acknowledged the behavior was inappropriate.
The next hearing on the civil lawsuit has been scheduled for June 19.