Prosecutors on Saturday painted a dark portrait of a manipulative and sometimes violent R Kelly, describing how the US singer-songwriter repeatedly sought out underage girls for sex, including one girl he encountered at her 16th birthday party and another who met the rhythm and blues star while he was on trial for child pornography.
The accounts emerged as Kelly made his first court appearance since being accused of sexually abusing four people in a case that could produce another #MeToo reckoning for a celebrity.
A judge gave Kelly a chance to go free while awaiting trial, setting bond at US$1 million. That means the 52-year-old Grammy winner had to post US$100,000 to be released or remain behind bars until he is tried on the allegations, which date back as far as 1998 and span more than a decade.
The prosecution released four documents, one for each accuser, outlining the basis for the charges.
A 16-year-old girl reported meeting Kelly in 1998 at a restaurant where she was having a birthday party, the files said. Kelly’s manager gave her the singer’s business card and suggested that she call Kelly, they said.
The girl’s mother heard the exchange, took the card and told the manager that her daughter was 16, but her daughter later retrieved the card from her purse, they said.
She contacted R Kelly, who gave her instructions and money that she assumed was for the taxi fare to his studio, where they had sex periodically for a year, the documents said.
Another accuser, also 16, met Kelly at his 2008 trial, where he gave her an autograph. He later invited her to his home in the Chicago suburb of Olympia Fields, where they had sex multiple times, according to the documents, which said that he also slapped, choked and spit on her.
In early 2003, a Chicago hairdresser told prosecutors that she thought she was going to braid Kelly’s hair, but he pulled down his pants and tried to force her to give him oral sex, the documents said.
The woman, who was 24, was able to pull away, but Kelly ejaculated on her and spit in her face, they said.
Prosecutors also described a witness who had access to videotapes showing Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The witness turned the tape over to authorities and identified the girl, who repeatedly states her age on the footage, the documents said.
Kelly’s DNA was found in semen on one of the accuser’s shirts and semen found on a shirt worn by another was submitted for DNA testing, said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, the district attorney for the Illinois subdivision that includes Chicago.
It was not clear whether the accusers turned their shirts over to authorities shortly after the alleged abuse or more recently.
At the bond hearing, R Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, said that his client is not a flight risk.
“Contrary to the song, Mr Kelly doesn’t like to fly,” Greenberg told the judge.
Kelly “really doesn’t have any more money,” he added, suggesting that others had mismanaged his wealth.
Still, he said he expected that Kelly would be able to come up with enough money for bail.
The judge called the allegations “disturbing.”
R Kelly looked down at the floor as the judge spoke.
After the hearing, Greenberg told reporters that Kelly did not force anyone to have sex: “He’s a rock star. He doesn’t have to have nonconsensual sex.”
The judge ordered Kelly to surrender his passport, ending his hopes of doing a tour of Europe in April.
Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 and has consistently denied any sexual misconduct.
He has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Each count of the new charges carries up to seven years in prison and the sentences could be served consecutively, making it possible for Kelly to receive up to 70 years.
On the Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo, enthusiastic slackers share their tips: Fill up a thermos with whiskey, do planks or stretches in the work pantry at regular intervals, drink liters of water to prompt lots of trips to the toilet on work time, and, once there, spend time on social media or playing games on your phone. “Not working hard is everyone’s basic right,” one commenter wrote. “With or without legal protection, everyone has the right to not work hard.” Young Chinese people are pushing back against an engrained culture of overwork, and embracing a philosophy of laziness known as “touching
The Palauan president-elect has vowed to stand up to Chinese “bullying” in the Pacific, saying that the archipelago nation is set to stand by its alliances with “true friends,” Taiwan and the US. Surangel Whipps Jr, 52, a supermarket owner and two-time senator from a prominent Palauan family, is to be sworn in as the new president tomorrow, succeeding his brother-in-law, Tommy Remengesau Jr. In a forthright interview, Whipps said that the US had demonstrated over the years that it was a reliable friend of Palau, most recently shown by its delivery of 6,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s important for
DELIVERING HOPE: The Japanese PM pledged to push ahead with plans to stage the Games, despite polls showing about 80% think they will not or should not happen Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga yesterday vowed to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control and hold the already postponed Olympic Games this summer with ample protection. In a speech opening a new session of parliament, Suga said that his government would revise laws to make disease prevention measures enforceable with penalties and compensation. Early in the pandemic, Japan was able to keep its caseload manageable with nonbinding requests for businesses to close or operate with social distancing, and for people to stay at home, but recent weeks have seen several highs in new cases per day, in part blamed on eased attitudes
‘STUNNED’: With help from an official at the US Department of Justice, Donald Trump reportedly planned to oust the acting attorney general in a bid to overturn the election Former US president Donald Trump was at his Florida resort on Saturday, beginning post-presidency life while US President Joe Biden settled into the White House, but in Washington and beyond, the chaos of the 45th president’s final days in office continued to throw out damaging aftershocks. In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said that Trump plotted with an official at the US Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state. Meanwhile, former acting US secretary of defense Christopher Miller made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that