R&B singer R. Kelly has been taken into custody during a hearing in Chicago over unpaid child support.
The 52-year-old told a judge on Wednesday he could not pay $161,000 in back child support he owes his ex-wife and the mother of his three children, Andrea Kelly.
He left the courtroom with his lawyers through a different door than he had entered. His hands weren’t cuffed.
Cook County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari says Kelly was taken into custody and will be transferred to the county jail.
She says she doesn’t know the reason he was taken into custody, including whether it had to do with unpaid child support he owes.
Kelly attended the child support hearing while out on bail in a criminal case accusing him of sexually abusing four women years ago, including three who were underage at the time.
It comes just hours after the broadcast of an interview on CBS This Morning in which the R&B star cried and ranted about being ‘assassinated’ by allegations of sexual abuse.
Kelly called his accusers liars and alleged that people are after him for his money. He told interviewer Gayle King that he never sexually abused women or controlled their lives.
‘All of them are lying,’ Kelly said in segments of the interview broadcast Wednesday. ‘I have been assassinated.’
At one point during the interview, Kelly angrily stood up and started pacing, his voice breaking as he yelled: ‘I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me!’
‘I’m fighting for my (expletive) life.’
Kelly was charged last month with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse but he has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.
The recording artist has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves. Kelly has consistently denied any sexual misconduct and was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. Those charges centered on a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13.
He and the girl allegedly seen with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, even though the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them. She did not take the stand. Kelly could have gotten 15 years in prison.
As part of the current case, prosecutors have described a witness who had access to videotapes showing Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The witness turned the tape over to authorities and identified the girl, who repeatedly states her age on the footage, according to court documents.
A condition of Kelly’s bail forbids him from having any contact with females younger than 18. He has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.
Interviews with the two women who live with Kelly will air Friday, including one young woman whose parents say she is being held against her will. Kelly suggested during the interview that the woman’s parents were in it for the money and blamed them for his relationship with their daughter, saying they brought her to watch him perform when she was a teenager.
A lawyer for the couple bristled at the allegation, saying Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage never asked for or received money from Kelly. The couple said they have not spoken to their 23-year-old daughter for two years and asked Kelly to make her available to talk to them.
‘At no point did this family sell their daughter to anyone or provide their daughter for anything for money,’ attorney Gerald Griggs said Wednesday during a news conference.
CBS said it interviewed Kelly for 80 minutes. More of the interview is expected to air Thursday.
In an excerpt that aired Tuesday night, Kelly told King that allegations of him having sex with and abusing underage girls were ‘not true.’ He called them ‘rumors.’ When King asked Kelly if he has held women against their will, he replied, ‘That’s stupid!’
‘Use your common sense. Forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me,’ Kelly said. ‘How stupid would it be for me, with my crazy past and what I’ve been through – oh right now I just think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will, chain them up in my basement, and don’t let them eat, and don’t let them out.’
King told Kelly that he seemed to be ‘playing the victim card.’
‘I’m just telling the truth,’ he replied. He said he was emotional ‘because this is the first time I was able to say something.’
Kelly noted his acquittal in the child porn case and accused prosecutors of trying the same case again.
‘When you beat something, you beat it. You can’t double jeopardy me like that. It’s not fair,’ he said.
Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for two Kelly accusers, responded to Kelly’s double jeopardy comment Tuesday on Twitter.
‘He fails to understand that it doesn’t matter ‘how long ago’ it happened. And he also has no clue as to how ‘double jeopardy’ works,’ the attorney tweeted.
In a follow-up tweet, Avenatti addressed the emotion that Kelly shows in the interview: ‘R. Kelly’s tears are out of fear and despair. Because he knows that after over two decades of sexually abusing underage girls, we blew this wide open and have him and his enablers dead to rights.’
News credit: DailyMail