×

R. Kelly, Female Companions Expected to Appear in Court Today

R. Kelly is expected to appear in federal court in Chicago today for an arraignment on new charges filed against him last week, all of them stemming from longstanding claims of sexual misconduct or abuse, according to multiple news reports. Two women who have lived with him for the past few years, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary — both of whom appeared in Gayle King’s CBS special on the singer earlier this year — are expected to appear as well and voiced support for the singer in a video obtained by TMZ Monday.

“We are just so thankful for everything that you guys are saying and doing and trying to do to help him,” the women said in the video.  

Last week, the singer was indicted on multiple federal charges in Chicago and New York; in the latter case, a separate indictment in Brooklyn accuses him of racketeering and sex trafficking. Kelly has been in jail since he was arrested outside his Trump Tower apartment in Chicago.

In addition to the arraignment, a consolidated detention hearing will be held on both the Illinois and New York indictments. The issue of extradition to New York is expected to be addressed if Kelly is released on bond. Federal prosecutors want the singer to remain in custody.

Kelly has maintained his innocence in these and all previous charges.

The singer could be looking at a minimum of 15 years in prison if he is found guilty, attorney Priya Sopori, a partner at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP in Los Angeles, told Variety last week.

Of the two indictments unsealed Friday, the Illinois one lists five unnamed female minors who met Kelly in the 1990s, four of whom appeared in videos in which they had sexual contact or engaged in sex acts with the singer.

While Kelly has been accused of sexual misconduct for many years — and was acquitted of child-pornography charges in 2008 — the new charges are federal, and “are considerably more serious than the original state court charges [of which he was acquitted in 2008]. Anyone charged with these crimes is facing considerably more prison time than he otherwise would have,” Sopori explained to Variety.

“Earlier, he was looking at possession of child pornography under state jurisdiction,” she explains. “Now, he’s looking at production of child pornography, which is a federal crime in federal court, and there’s a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison for that crime. So if he’s found guilty of production of child pornography, no judge will have discretion to send him to prison for fewer than 15 years — remember, in federal court, defendants end up serving a very large percentage of their time because there is no early-parole system.”

 

More Music

  • Taylor Swift attends the premiere of

    Taylor Swift Bows Out of Unannounced Grammy Performance

    Taylor Swift has bowed out of a possible performance on the Grammy Awards program Sunday night just as stealthily as it appeared she might have bowed into it, multiple sources tell Variety. Her possible appearance on the show had been kept a secret — albeit not an extremely well-kept secret —  so her exit won’t [...]

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs for Screens: Why Aerosmith Is Still Gold for Synchs

    Aerosmith’s star-studded tribute concert as the 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year honorees on Friday night (January 24) will cement another important milestone in the historic Boston-founded band’s contributions to the American rock canon. But over the past decade, some of the band’s best-known music has remained part of the cultural conversation through some of [...]

  • Josh Olson Mick Jagger Steve Bing

    Mick Jagger's Rainy Day Podcasts, Warner Bros. Digital Networks Sign First-Look Deal

    A podcast shingle co-created by Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger has inked a deal with a major studio. Warner Bros. Digital Networks has signed a first-look deal with Rainy Day Podcasts, a new company from Jagged Films partners Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman, producer Steve Bing and writer Josh Olson, with the aim of producing [...]

  • Sirius Logo

    Radio Hall of Famer Kid Kelly Leaves SiriusXM After Two Decades

    In a surprise move, veteran programmer, on-air personality and Radio Hall of Famer Kid Kelly has left SiriusXM after nearly 20 years with the radio giant, a rep for the company has confirmed to Variety. The news was first reported by RAMP. He most recently served as SiriusXM’s VP of Pop Music Programming. “After a [...]

  • Grammy Moments Brandi Carlile John Legend

    What's a Grammy Moment Worth? Brandi Carlile, John Legend, Label Execs Weigh In

    In simpler times, an artist could see album sales spike to over 500,000 in the days after a Grammy Awards broadcast appearance. That was Santana’s experience in 2000. Following a performance on the show and eight Grammy wins, “Supernatural” flew off the shelves — a gold certification from one key look. Today, that seems downright [...]

  • Taylor Swift: Miss Americana

    'Taylor Swift: Miss Americana': Film Review

    Fly-on-the-wall portraits of pop-music stars used to be dominated by, you know, pop music. The life and personality and woe-is-me-I’m-caught-in-the-media-fishbowl spectacle of the star herself was part of the equation, yet all that stuff had a way of dancing around the edges. Now, though, it’s front and center. In “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana,” we catch [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content