R. Kelly Ex on Singer Withholding Child Support: 'By Trying to Punish Me, Your Children Suffer'
"Whether the allegations are true or not, at the end of the day, you're still somebody's father," Andrea Kelly previously told PEOPLE
Three days after being arrested for the second time in less than two weeks, the 52-year-old singer was released from jail over the weekend after a payment for the $161,000 in back child support he owed was made anonymously on his behalf.
CNN previously reported that court documents showed Kelly owed the unpaid child support to his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly.
In January, ahead of the premiere of Surviving R. Kelly, Andrea told PEOPLE that the singer no longer had any contact with their three children — and had stopped supporting them financially.
“Whether the allegations are true or not, at the end of the day, you’re still somebody’s father and you still have three people that you need to answer to, whether you like or not, because they’re directly affected by your actions,” Andrea said, claiming that the singer stopped paying child support after she came forward with her experience of abuse in June 2018.
“He stopped paying child support when I came forward with my story, so he’s still economically abusing me. So, it’s like, ‘Oh, okay, you want to tell your story? Fine. I’m cutting off child support,'” she said.
Andrea, who was married to the singer for 13 years, went on to share that what her ex didn’t seem to understand was “when I suffer, your children suffer.”
“All men need to understand that. Abusing a woman financially, at the end of the day — there’s no landlord that’s gonna say, ‘Well, you know what Ms. Kelly? We’re gonna put you out but the kids can stay. There’s no electric company that says, ‘We’re just gonna turn the electricity off in your room, but we’ll leave the electricity on for the rest of the house,'” she added. “So, by trying to punish me, your children suffer.”
The singer’s attorney Steve Greenberg told PEOPLE he cannot comment due to order of the court, although he’s previously denied claims that his client is a “deadbeat dad.”
“I don’t think he ever should have gone into custody for it. He’s not some deadbeat dad. He fell a little bit behind. That occurred in a matter of months,” Greenberg told PEOPLE following the singer’s release from prison on Saturday.
Cook County Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari previously told PEOPLE that Kelly was released from custody after the full $161,633 was paid on Saturday morning, but that it’s not immediately clear who paid the sum.
In a copy of Kelly’s bond slip given to PEOPLE, the provider information is left blank.
“Anonymous payments do happen but they are rare,” Ansari told PEOPLE.
Kelly, who has repeatedly denied all claims against him, briefly addressed reporters outside of the jail, saying, “I promise you, we’re going to straighten all this stuff out,” according to CNN.
Speaking about the child support payment at the scene, Greenberg told reporters that “the judge has entered a gag order, so we can’t really talk about that,” according to a video posted by WGN-TV.
The singer was first released from jail on Feb. 25, after being indicted by a grand jury on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims. Kelly secured his release by paying 10 percent of his $1 million bail amount. Hours earlier, Greenberg pleaded not guilty on Kelly’s behalf, according to the Associated Press.
Kelly was then arrested again on March 6, following a child support hearing in Chicago.
According to the Associated Press, the singer was escorted out of a Cook County courtroom around 3:45 p.m. and taken into custody.
Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Ansari previously confirmed to PEOPLE that Kelly was transferred to the county jail, where he was set to remain until paying back the sum.
Kelly’s publicist Darryll Johnson told the Associated Press the R&B star had been prepared to pay $50,000 to $60,000 at Wednesday’s hearing, but the judge requested the full amount. Johnson said the entire sum wasn’t available due to Kelly being unable to work. PEOPLE was unable to immediately reach Johnson for comment.
CNN also reported that court documents show Kelly owed more than $169,000 in unpaid child support to his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, as of Feb. 6. The court ordered Kelly to make a monthly payment of $20,833 on Jan. 8, 2009, but Kelly did not show up to that hearing, according to CNN. Additionally, a judge ordered he pay $161,663 by Wednesday in order to avoid being held in contempt of court.
King also spoke with Kelly’s two live-in girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21. Savage’s parents have accused R. Kelly of kidnapping their daughter, though she says she’s living with the singer of her own free will.
Kelly, who has denied having sex with Clary while she was underage, has also denied luring his girlfriends into relationships by promising to advance their music careers.
Kelly’s alleged behavior came to the media forefront again in July 2017, when BuzzFeed published a bombshell report accusing the star of running a “sex cult” out of his Chicago and Atlanta-area homes, and after the release of Surviving R. Kelly in January.
According to those reports, the star allegedly seduced a number of young women with the promise of helping them kickstart a music career, only to “groom” them into being his personal sex objects for whom he allegedly controlled every aspect of their lives.
Kelly has repeatedly denied all claims against him. He is due in court again on March 13 regarding child support and March 22 on the sexual abuse charges.