R. Kelly was recently attacked by a frustrated fellow inmate in his jail cell, Billboard can confirm.
According to TMZ, who first reported the news, the incident occurred at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, where the inmate started “punching” Kelly (born Robert Sylvester Kelly), who was sitting on his bed. R. Kelly’s Attorney Douglas C. Anton tells Billboard, “It is unfortunately true. Another inmate that had an issue with lockdown, got upset and simply attacked Robert.”
Anton says he was told that the Chicago prison had gone into lockdown because there were R. Kelly protestors outside, but he couldn’t not confirm that was accurate. “I spoke to him and he is not OK,” he shared. “He is not doing well. This even more reason why he needs to be released. They cannot protect him in the facility.”
The singer was taken into custody in early 2019 on 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse tied to allegations that he sexually abused four women, three of whom were minors at the time. He was re-arrested on July 11, 2019, in Chicago by NYPD detectives and Homeland Security officers and indicted by a federal grand jury on federal charges that alleged additional sex crimes, with federal prosecutors in New York and Chicago indicting Kelly on 18 charges that included kidnapping, forced labor, child sexual exploitation and child pornography production and obstruction of justice.
He was ordered held without bail and thus began more than a year of incarceration that has included a denial of bail three times — in October, April and again in May — as Kelly remains at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago while awaiting trial.
Anton has been arguing for Kelly’s release to prepare for trial but has been repeatedly denied. “It is cruel and unusual,” he said. “He is innocent until proven guilty. I have an innocent guy in jail that can’t get out of jail so we can get prepare for trial.”
Anton says the trial date has already been pushed back due to COVID-19 and there has been no new trial date set. “Everything is put on hold. It’s a horrific situation,” he noted. “I’ve never seen an individual more strong in dealing with punch and after punch with the things that are said about him. He doesn’t have a way to respond. All we want is a fair trial. We don’t even know the names of the Jane Does. We don’t even have their statements.”
“We are not saying anything except we want justice.” R. Kelly’s legal team will be back in court next Friday for a hearing on his case. Anton says he might write a supplemental letter to the court prior to the hearing to inform them of this incident.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.