As R. Kelly spends another night in jail Sunday, stemming from the 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse he was charged with on Friday, one of his lawyers says the singer is “disappointed by the unsubstantiated allegations.”
Kelly turned himself in to Chicago police on Friday night after he was accused of “sexual penetration” of multiple women “at least 13 years of age but under 17 years of age,” per the indictment by the Cook County State’s Attorney. The age of consent in Illinois is 17 years old.
At a press conference Friday, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx detailed the charges against Kelly: Four charges stem from Kelly’s alleged incidents with an underage girl initialed “H.W.” between May 1998 and May 1999. Two counts were drawn from “R.L.,” who, while underage, had sexual encounters with Kelly between September 1998 to September 2001. The most recent counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, from May 2009 to January 2010, are “J.P.,” who was also underage.
“Rob is disappointed by the unsubstantiated allegations of behavior that portrays him as a monster by people with a pecuniary motive,” Brian Nix tells Rolling Stone. “He believes that the scripted documentary by Lifetime has created collusion between and amongst female friends who have been converted to victims.”
Surviving R. Kelly, Lifetime’s six-part docuseries that premiered in January, featured numerous women who claim the singer physically, emotionally and sexually abused them. The series became a cultural phenomenon and helped amplify the accusations against Kelly.
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For Kelly and his legal team, however, the series has meant something different. “The dissemination of information through media and social outlets have created an environment of possible collusion amongst female acquaintances who have been mistakenly coached to become victims,” Nix says.
As Kelly prepares for another hearing Monday morning to enter his plea and learn which judge will preside over his case, the singer’s legal team appears to be mounting a defense based, in part, on what they say is a “conspiracy” against Kelly.
“It’s a conspiracy and everybody’s motivated by money,” Kelly’s advisor Don Russell tells Rolling Stone. “Rob is hypersexual because of what happened to him when he was eight years old. [In his autobiography The Soulacoster, Kelly claimed that he was molested repeatedly by a family member.] When [people connected to you] realize you have a poison, they keep it in front of you cause it’s a distraction from handling your business. They kept the women in front of him as a distraction. To be frank, he’s the biggest survivor out of all of this.”
As part of his $1 million bond parameters, Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. forced Kelly to turn over his passport, preventing the singer from performing internationally. (Kelly had two upcoming shows in Germany in the works, though Russell said last week that they had not been confirmed.)
“This man has lost a lot of income,” Russell says. “Based on him being dropped from the label, the concerts being canceled – now they’ve taken his passport so he can’t go abroad and generate revenue – he has no income.”
With no record label – RCA Records dropped him in January – or upcoming shows, Russell says Kelly will attempt to find alternate ways to generate income. “He has to diversify and get involved with non-conventional things,” He says. “He knows all the tricks of the trade on how you get fucked. That’s an intellectual property that can be turned into a tool that other artists can use to avoid what he’s been through in the industry. I’m not talking about the personal things; I’m talking about the business side of things.”
Following Friday’s charges, another of Kelly’s lawyers, Steve Greenberg, told media that “I suspect [the charges are] succumbing to public pressure. I think [prosecutors] shouldn’t have rushed to judgment. He’s an innocent man.”
Asked about his client’s wellbeing, Greenberg said, “Mr. Kelly is strong. He’s got a lot of support and he’s going to be vindicated on all these charges,” the Associated Press reports. Prior to Kelly’s surrender to police, when news spread early Friday that the singer had been indicted on charges, Greenberg told CBS Chicago that his client was a “sacrificial lamb.”