NEW YORK (CBS) — R. Kelly’s crisis manager said Monday evening that he is no longer working for the R&B singer, after saying in a “CBS This Morning” interview that he would not leave daughter alone with Kelly.
Crisis manager Dareell Johnson told CBS News he was stepping down as crisis manager for “personal reasons.”
“Mr. Kelly is in good hands with (attorney Steve) Greenberg!” Johnson said.
This morning, R. Kelly’s crisis manager Darrell Johnson said he wouldn’t leave his daughter “with an accused pedophile.”
Tonight, he told CBS he’s no longer working for Kelly: “I step down as crisis manager for personal reasons. Mr. Kelly is in good hands with Mr. Greenberg!” pic.twitter.com/gx0JjmS34t
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) July 23, 2019
During the interview on “CBS This Morning” that aired Monday, Gayle King asked Johnson if he would leave his 20-year-old daughter alone with the embattled R&B singer.
Johnson: “Absolutely not. I would not leave my daughter with anyone that’s accused of being a pedophile. I would not.”
King: “That doesn’t seem like a contradiction to you?”
Johnson: “Absolutely not.”
King: “You’re defending R. Kelly and at the same time, saying you wouldn’t leave your own daughter with him.”
Johnson: “I wouldn’t leave my daughter with anyone – I’m going to say it again – he’s accused of being a pedophile.”
Johnson also described Kelly as a “mess” right now, because Kelly is afraid and isolated in jail.
In a statement Monday night, defense attorney Greenberg said Johnson “has decided to take some time off, for personal reasons.”
— Steve Greenberg (@SGcrimlaw) July 23, 2019
Greenberg also thanked Johnson for his help and said he looked forward to Johnson’s return.
Federal prosecutors in Illinois and New York have charged Kelly with 18 combined counts – including child pornography. Kelly is being held without bond in Chicago.
The embattled singer was arrested in Chicago on July 11 while walking his dog. The next day, federal prosecutors in Chicago and New York unsealed the two separate indictments.
According to a 13-count indictment in Chicago, Kelly sexually abused five girls in the late 1990s, made videos of four of the victims, and then paid hush money and made threats to cover up his sex crimes.
The Chicago indictment accuses Kelly and former manager Derrel McDavid of conspiring to cover up videotapes Kelly allegedly made of himself sexually abusing children. Another Kelly employee, Milton “June” Brown, faces child pornography charges for allegedly helping ship videotapes of Kelly’s sexual crimes in the U.S. mail.
Kelly and McDavid allegedly coerced the girl and her parents to lie about the video at the center of his 2008 child pornography case, and claim it wasn’t her with Kelly on the tape. The singer and his manager also allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover videos of sexual abuse, and paid off witnesses and victims to change their stories.
Kelly, McDavid, and Brown have pleaded not guilty. McDavid was released on bond, and Brown was released on his own recognizance, after his first court appearance. Kelly is being held in solitary confinement.
Meantime, the federal indictment in New York charges Kelly with five felony counts, including racketeering and Mann Act violations, which involve transporting a person across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity. The racketeering case also accuses him of kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a child, and forced labor.
Federal prosecutors said Kelly and his managers, bodyguards, and other employees acted as a criminal enterprise to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with Kelly. Kelly and his enterprise would pick out women and girls who attended his concerts and other events; and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly. He would later hold them against their will, according to the feds.
Once the women and girls Kelly had picked started staying with him, he and his employees would set rules his victims had to follow, including not leaving their rooms without Kelly’s permission, even to eat or go to the bathroom; not looking at other men; to wear baggy clothing whenever they weren’t with him; demanding absolute commitment to Kelly; and calling the singer “Daddy.”
Kelly allegedly coerced some of the girls he’d abused to engage in sexually explicit conduct on video, which he later had shipped across state lines. The feds also said he didn’t inform his victims that he had a sexually transmitted disease.
The indictment alleges that the criminal acts date back to 1999. Through the recent documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” federal authorities in New York realized some of his acts happened there.
Kelly has already been charged with over 20 counts of sexual abuse in Cook County. He was first charged in February with 10 counts of sexual abuse involving four females, including three children. In May, he was charged with an additional 11 felony counts involving one of those victims, identified only as JP.
Kelly is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn next month. His next hearing in the Cook County case against him is set for Aug. 15.