Though relenting to news organizations’ request to document the proceedings, the Chicago, Illinois judge stresses that media are not allowed to use photos and videos of accusers without consent.
- Mar 16, 2019
AceShowbiz – A Chicago, Illinois judge has granted media cameras courtroom access to document R. Kelly‘s upcoming hearings and trial for sex abuse charges.
The “I Believe I Can Fly” hitmaker is currently free on bail after he was indicted on 10 felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse last month (February 2019).
He is due to return to court on 22 March, and when he does, his every move will be filmed.
Cook County Associate Judge Lawrence Flood made the ruling during a brief hearing on Friday, March 15, after officials at a number of news organisations joined forces to request access to the proceedings.
However, the judge declared that they will not be allowed to use photos and video footage of Kelly’s accusers without their consent. So far, two women have expressed their desire not to be featured on camera, according to The Associated Press.
Kelly, who was not present for Friday’s court date, has pleaded not guilty to all 10 charges.
The sex crimes case isn’t the singer’s only legal headache – he was also recently jailed for three days after he was found in contempt of court for failing to keep up with his child support payments to his ex-wife Andrea Kelly (Drea Kelly), with whom he shares three kids.
The 52-year-old was given until 6 March to settle the full debt, amounting to more than $160,000 (£121,000) – or be thrown behind bars.
Kelly was unable to meet the deadline and was taken into custody, until an anonymous donor covered the fee to secure his release.
He has since lost a bid to lower the $21,000 (£16,000) monthly payments he had previously agreed to in the couple’s 2009 divorce, claiming he can no longer afford the amount due to a lack of work, which his attorney, Steve Greenberg, blamed on the backlash his client has faced over the sexual misconduct allegations.
“If you can’t play a show, if you can’t go out on tour, if they’re not streaming your music anymore, obviously you’re going to have financial problems,” he told reporters after the hearing on Wednesday, March 13. “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.”