On the same day that his highly anticipated interview with Gayle King aired on CBS This Morning, R. Kelly was arrested yesterday in Chicago after the singer missed a deadline to pay a court-ordered child support payment. Kelly had until 10 a.m. Wednesday morning to pay up per a judge’s order. He was taken into custody and transferred to the county jail where he’ll stay until he pays what is owed. According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Kelly owes $161,663.
Under Illinois law, failure to pay any child support over $20,000 is a felony offense. Kelly’s next court date in this particular matter is set for March 13.
When a reporter asked Kelly’s publicist Darrell Johnson how Kelly was feeling about going back to jail, Johnson replied, “Depressed, deflated, upset.”
Kelly’s Sexual Abuse Charges
Kelly, 52, was out on bail for a criminal case accusing him of sexually abusing four women, including three who were underage at the time. He spent three nights in jail for the sex-crimes charges after he turned himself in February 22. He was released on February 25 only after an unidentified friend posted his $100,000 bail—10 percent of the $1 million dollar bond. Kelly pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.
David France, manager for Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea “Drea” Kelly, confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times that the singer hadn’t made the child support payment that was due. Andrea Kelly, who was married to the singer 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,” Andrea Kelly said in an interview last month on Good Morning Britain. “He was abusive to me verbally, emotionally, physically, sexually.”
Kelly’s Finances Are Reportedly “A Mess”
Kelly has said he is too broke to even 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.”
“Mr. Kelly has more than 20 people on his staff who, needless to say, are being paid,” said France. “He is not without means. Not until he was arrested did he say he didn’t have any money.”
It appears that Kelly’s art did indeed imitate his life. “I’m a broke a — legend,” Kelly sang in his expletive-ridden track “I Admit” released last year. “The only reason I stay on tour is cause I’ve got to pay my rent…I admit I had to borrow a couple of M’s from the label. All these hits out, but I couldn’t put food on the table.”
In the same song, Kelly also said he owed the IRS $20 million and claimed that he doesn’t own the rights to his music. Celebrity Net Worth reports that while Kelly would have likely been worth at least $150 million, in the wake of his legal troubles, his net worth now stands at a relatively meager $100,000.
However, USA Today reports that Kelly’s song and album sales more than doubled following the airing of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docu-series. According to Nielsen, audio and video streams spiked 76 and 85 percent, which means at least some revenue must’ve come Kelly’s way.
“Is money still being generated? Yes. Is it going to him? I don’t know,” said Lisa Alter, a music attorney and founding partner of the New York-based firm, Alter, Kendrick and Baron.
Alter added that Kelly might not be earning income if he’s committed it as security for a loan. But having said that, “he’s getting royalties from different sources, from his performing rights associations, from his record label, and from his music publishing.”
As for King’s interview, CBS has announced plans to air the interview with Kelly in full during a one-hour primetime special on Friday.