R Kelly can't fly to Dubai... yet
Dubai: Singer R Kelly’s motion to travel to Dubai next month for a series of concerts has been continued by a judge, with a new court date set for May 7.
Kelly, who is facing 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges in the US, returned to court yesterday with his legal team to make a formal request to fly to Dubai for performances that were reportedly scheduled between April 17 and 19.
Following his indictment in February, Kelly was required to remain in the US state of Illinois and surrender his passport, as per the terms of his $1 million bond. According to a request filed by Kelly’s attorney Steven Greenberg, the shows had been signed on prior to his February indictment.
The cash-strapped R&B singer is currently out on bail, facing charges for allegedly abusing four women, three of whom were minors at the time. The ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ hit maker pleaded not guilty to the charges last month.
“Before he was arrested Mr Kelly had signed a contract to perform between 3-5 shows in Dubai, UAE, in April 2019,” a court filing read.
While it is still unclear who the local organisers are behind Kelly’s concerts, his attorney Greenberg stated in a court filing that it was a necessity for the singer to fly to Dubai in order to generate income to make child support, stated an AP report.
However, entertainment website TMZ quoted sources close to the singer saying Kelly ‘could potentially get a gig’ in Dubai, ‘but doesn’t have anything booked yet’.
Earlier this month, Kelly also spent three days behind bars for failing to pay over $160,000 in child support. His publicist Darrell Johnson told media at a March 13 court hearing that the singer wasn’t working, whereby making it impossible for him to pay “$21,000 in child support per month.”
In February, a German concert arena also cancelled its contract with the organiser of a Kelly tour as news of the sex abuse allegations broke, leading to a global outcry. Kelly was scheduled to perform at the Ratiopharm Arena in Neu-Ulm on April 12.
Several radio stations in the US and streaming services have also removed Kelly’s songs, while his record company, RCA/Sony, cancelled his recording contract following the 10-count indictment.
Following the allegations, Kelly told CBS News anchor Gayle King in the now infamous interview that “he was innocent” of the charges, including allegations that he had beaten and starved women, who were held against their will in a “sex cult.”
The Grammy-winning artist faced sex-related accusations earlier, however, he was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.
Kelly’s reputation took a hit in January after the release of the Lifetime documentary ‘Surviving R Kelly,’ which saw a number of young women speak up about being abused by the singer.
The R&B singer broke into the music scene in 1993 with his first solo album, ‘12 Play’. Over his career, he has also penned songs for other artists, including Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga.