R. Kelly fears for his life in prison and feels safer in solitary confinement as he awaits trial on a raft of sex crime charges, according to his lawyer.
Nicole Blank Becker, an attorney for the R&B singer, claimed that he told her during a recent visit that he is better off in solitary as he believes his life would be in danger if he was housed in general population, reported TMZ.
However, she claimed being alone could pose problems for the embattled star, 52, as he cannot read or write and would not have anyone to help him with everyday tasks.
R. Kelly, (pictured), fears for his life in prison and would rather be alone in solitary confinement as he awaits trial on a raft of sex crime charges, according to his lawyer
R Kelly (above in a sketch from court last Friday) was denied bond on Tuesday at a bail hearing and entered a not guilty plea to charges in Illinois after being arraigned in federal court
Kelly has access to a phone for a total of 15 minutes a month to speak with family and friends.
Prisoners in general population have access to the phone at all times, but there is no access to TV or the internet, according to TMZ.
Prosecutors brought 18 counts against the Grammy Award-winning artist with allegations he preyed on teenagers and young women for two decades, forcing them into sexual acts.
The charges formed part of a multi-count indictment unveiled on Friday in Chicago and New York.
He was taken to Metropolitan Correction Center in Chicago after his arrest last week and remains in custody.
Under the obstruction of justice charges, R. Kelly and his entourage are accused of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to buy victims’ silence, even giving a car to one young woman, and using intimidation and threats of violence.
The singer, who rose to fame in the 1990s, has been jailed in solitary confinement since he was arrested last Thursday night walking his dog in downtown Chicago, his lawyer Steve Greenberg said.
Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and handcuffed at a hearing in federal court in Illinois on Tuesday, the 52-year-old singer entered his plea of not guilty and answered ‘Yes, sir,’ to all of U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber’s questions.
Joycelyn Savage, (left), and Azriel Clary, (right), who lived with the R&B singer, were at Dirksen Federal Courthouse to support him at his hearing on Tuesday
Savage and Azriel expressed their support for R. Kelly in a video posted this week on TMZ
Federal prosecutors revealed that they are in possession of three tapes which show the singer raping a girl, 14, and then subjecting her to ‘sadomasochistic abuse.’
Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Krull then made a point of stating: ‘There is no question that it is the defendant on these videos.’
Kelly is reportedly seen close-up and two of the tapes were filmed in rooms that are distinctly similar to ones in the singer’s former home.
Prosecutors also said that the victim’s age is said fifteen times on one of the rape tapes.
The singer’s lawyer Steve Greenberg responded by presenting his client as a broke family man with an aversion to flying, and confirmed that the singer is in fact ‘illiterate’ in his failed bid to convince the court that Kelly was not a flight risk.
‘Unlike his most famous song – I Believe I Can Fly – Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly,’ declared Greenberg at one point in the proceedings.
R. Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg, (pictured), claimed his client did not pose a flight risk but failed to convince Judge Harry Leinenweber who denied the singer’s request for bond
Prosecutors brought 18 counts against R. Kelly with allegations he preyed on teenagers and young women for two decades, forcing them into sexual acts
However Judge Leinenweber denied the singer’s request for bond and then arraigned him on the indictment filed in Illinois last week.
The judge said the main reason he was denying bail was obstruction of justice charges.
As part of the 13 count Illinois indictment, the complaint alleges that Kelly made four videos of himself raping an underage girl and later provided her family with money and gifts in order to buy their silence ahead of his 2008 trial in Cook County.
He is also accused of aggravated criminal abuse and sexual exploitation of a child in the indictment, with all charges stemming from his alleged assaults of five minor females.
A federal grand jury in Brooklyn indicted the singer on five counts, including racketeering and violating the Mann Act, which prohibits the transportation of individuals across state lines for prostitution or any other illegal sexual activity.
Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti, (pictured), who claims to represents three of Kelly’s victims,said the singer paid over $2 million to keep one young woman off the stand in his 2008 trial on child pornography charges, in which he was acquitted
Best known for hits Bump n’ Grind and I Believe I Can Fly, R. Kelly faces a maximum prison sentence of over 190 years for the Chicago charges and decades more for those filed in New York
He will be arraigned in a New York federal court between now and September on charges he faces there.
R. Kelly has faced sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1990s, which were documented in a television series “Surviving R. Kelly” and aired in January.
Two women who say they have been in consensual relationships with the singer were at the hearing on Tuesday, but did not speak in court or comment to reporters.
The women, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, expressed their support for R. Kelly in a video posted this week on TMZ.
Best known for hits Bump n’ Grind and I Believe I Can Fly, R. Kelly faces a maximum prison sentence of over 190 years for the Chicago charges and decades more for those filed in New York.
The musician and record producer is charged with sexual misconduct with 12 teenage girls and young women.
Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti, who says he represents three of Kelly’s victims, on Monday said the singer paid over $2 million to keep one young woman off the stand in his 2008 trial on child pornography charges, in which he was acquitted.
“The difference between his old cases and now is that his victims are cooperating with law enforcement,” said prosecutor Kroll.