R. Kelly Released from Jail After $161K Child Support Payment Made on His Behalf
The 52-year-old singer was seen walking out of Chicago’s Cook County Jail on Saturday, accompanied by his attorney, Steve Greenberg.
Cook County Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari tells 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 tells PEOPLE.
CNN previously reported that court documents showed Kelly owed the unpaid child support to his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly.
“I don’t think he ever should have gone into custody for it. He’s not some deadbeat dad,” Greenberg tells PEOPLE. “He fell a little bit behind. That occurred in a matter of months.”
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.
“That’s all I can say right now. I promise you,” he added, before stepping into a vehicle that quickly drove away.
Staying behind, Kelly’s attorney called the criticism of his client “unprofessional” and briefly addressed the child support payment.
“There’s a couple things I want to say as far as the child support matter. What was posted, the judge has entered a gag order, so we can’t really talk about that,” he said, according to a video posted by WGN-TV. “He’s got a divorce lawyer. She’ll be addressing those matters. They go back to court on Wednesday.”
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 Wednesday 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.
Andrea Kelly’s manager David France told the Chicago Sun-Times prior to Wednesday’s hearing that the singer hadn’t made the payment as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
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Kelly’s release came shortly after his emotionally charged interview with Gayle King, during which the singer grew increasingly upset as he denied the allegations made against him. Kelly looked directly into the camera, yelling and standing up out of his chair.
“He keeps saying that, ‘I didn’t do anything wrong. All these women are wrong,’ and I go, ‘All these women are lying except for you?’ That just defies logic,” she said. “When I went into the interview Stephen, I knew he wasn’t going to say, ‘You know Gayle, you’re right. I’ve done terrible things.’ But I did think on some level, he would have a moment of reflection, he would have contrition.”
King recalled, “So it became very troubling to me to see him, really, just fall apart. I thought we were witnessing the self-destruction of a man having a breakdown and that’s never a good thing to see, never.”
King also spoke with Kelly’s two live-in girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21, during an interview that aired on CBS This Morning on Thursday. 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.