R. Kelly gave an emotional and explosive talk, defending his innocence in his first interview since being charged with sexual abuse.
The same day his fiery interview with Gayle King aired on “CBS This Morning,” R. Kelly was arrested and taken into custody in Chicago following a hearing over unpaid child support, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sam Randall told USA TODAY Kelly was taken into custody in the courtroom and will be transferred to the county jail, where he will stay until he pays what he owes. His next court date in the matter was set for March 13.
Kelly faced a charge of failure to pay $161,000 in back child support. Failure to pay child support in any amount over $20,000 is a felony under Illinois law.
The R&B singer, who is out on bail in a criminal case accusing him of sexually abusing four women years ago, including three who were underage at the time, didn’t appear to say anything as he walked past a throng of reporters into the courtroom on Wednesday.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse that he faces.
David France, manager for Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea “Drea” Kelly, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the singer hadn’t made a child support payment that was due by late Tuesday.
Andrea Kelly, who was married to Kelly for 13 years, alleged that her ex-husband also abused her, and stopped paying child support in June 2018 when she first spoke out against him.
“I believe that he is abusive,” she said in an interview last month alongside their 20-year-old daughter, Joann, on “Good Morning Britain.” “He was abusive to me verbally, emotionally, physically, sexually.” The two also are the parents to two teen-age sons, Robert Kelly Jr. and Jay Kelly.
Joann Kelly, also known as Buku Abi, distanced herself and her family from Kelly on her Instagram page, saying it had been years since she and her siblings had seen him.
“To the people that feel I should be speaking up/against everything that is going on right now. I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently,” she wrote.
Kelly, 52, spent three nights in jail on the sex-crimes charges after he turned himself in on Feb. 22. He was released on Feb. 25, after a 47-year-old friend from the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, Illinois, posted his $100,000 bail, which accounts for 10 percent of the $1 million dollar bond.
Kelly has said he is too broke to pay his taxes. His Chicago defense attorney, Steve Greenberg, said at a hearing after Kelly’s February arrest that his client’s recording contract had been canceled and his finances were “a mess.”
Immediately after his release last month, Kelly stopped by a downtown McDonald’s, where he was filmed ordering food and settling into a booth with his entourage. A fan yelled, “I love you! I love you! I love you!” as the singer left the restaurant and stepped into a Mercedes van. Later, aerial footage showed Kelly entering a cigar bar in the city’s ritzy Gold Coast neighborhood.
In his first televised interview since his arrest, Kelly devolved into hysterics during an intense interview with King, screaming and crying as he emphatically maintained his innocence and claimed his accusers were lying.
“I don’t really know what a cult is but I don’t have one,” Kelly said, before criticizing the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” that brought together many of his accusers. “If you really look at that documentary, which I’m sure you have … everybody says something bad about me. Nobody said nothing good. They were describing Lucifer. I’m not Lucifer. I’m a man. I make mistakes, but I’m not a devil, and by no means am I a monster.”
Contributing: Aamer Madhani, The Associated Press
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